France to reject complaints about the sounds of the countryside

France to reject complaints about the sounds of the countryside - France’s parliament has adopted a law in an effort to put an end to hundreds of noise complaints every year, from unhappy neighbours. Most of the complaint cases are from city dwellers who arrive in the countryside for peace and quiet. France’s justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti, said last year when the law was introduced to parliament that “those who move to the countryside cannot demand that country people who feed them change their way of life”. When tackled about the issue at the agriculture salon in Paris in March, he added it was “surreal that courts were being clogged up with disputes about cows mooing at night”. From now on people who decide to live near, next to or above an existing farm, shop, bar or restaurant cannot complain about the noise or other inconveniences.

French judges have in the past seen a number of cases, including neighbours annoyed by Maurice the noisy rooster, who survived a legal attempt to silence him in 2019. Ducks, geese, cows and even cicadas have faced attempts to shut them up. In May last year, gendarmes turned up at the home of 92-year-old Colette Ferry to remove three frogs from her garden pond following complaints from the neighbours. From now on, people who decide to live near, next to or above an existing farm, shop, bar or restaurant cannot complain about the noise or other inconveniences.

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