French court allows ducks to continue quacking after neighbor complained

A French court allowed ducks on a small holding to carry on quacking, rejecting a neighbor’s complaint that the birds’ racket was making their life a misery.

The court in the town of Dax ruled that the noise from the flock of around 60 ducks and geese kept by retired farmer Dominique Douthe in the foothills of the Pyrenees, southwestern France, was within acceptable limits.

“I’m very happy because I didn’t want to slaughter my ducks,” Douthe told Reuters.

The complaint was brought by Douthe’s neighbor who moved from the city around a year ago into a property about 50 meters away from the enclosure in the Soustons district where Douthe keeps her flock.

The neighbor’s lawyer said the noise exceeded permissible levels, and prevented the plaintiff enjoying their garden or sleeping with their house windows open.

The neighbor had asked for immediate steps to reduce the noise, and for 3,500 euros in damages.

In a court ruling in September, a rooster named Maurice was allowed to continue his dawn crowing, despite complaints from neighbors who had also moved in from the city.

Such disputes have increased after city-dwellers move to rural France with modern values.