Maurice the rooster within the dock in divisive French trial – CNN Worldwide


The copper-feathered cockerel is the defendant in a courtroom battle stemming from a long-running neighborhood dispute over his early morning crowing.

His proprietor Corinne Fesseau advised CNN that neighbors within the village of Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, on the Isle of Oléron, first complained in April 2017, asking her to maintain Maurice quiet.

“I’ve lived right here for 35 years, it is by no means bothered anybody,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless the neighbors accuse Maurice of inflicting noise air pollution and the case was heard by the courtroom in Rochefort, Charente Maritime on Thursday.

After the trial, Fesseau advised CNN she was happy with the developments and hopeful an answer could possibly be discovered.

“I hope these folks will perceive the that means of rurality,” she mentioned.

Whereas a verdict will not be anticipated till September 5, the trial has already ignited debate in France.

Saint-Pierre-d'Oleron sits on an island off the west coast of France.Saint-Pierre-d'Oleron sits on an island off the west coast of France.

The neighbors in query are metropolis dwellers who solely go to Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron just a few instances per yr, in response to Fesseau.

Their perspective in direction of the rooster, which is among the nationwide symbols of the nation, has been perceived as indicative of the polarization between city and rural France.

“The answer is for folks to know that the countryside continues to be the countryside and we should tolerate the crows of the rooster,” mentioned Fesseau. “I wish to defend all of the roosters in France.”

And her battle has obtained vital assist as nearly 120,000 folks signed her on-line petition to avoid wasting Maurice.

She appeared on Maurice’s behalf Thursday as a result of she did not need the rooster to go to courtroom attributable to worries he would disturb proceedings.

Nonetheless Fesseau advised CNN that a number of folks got here to the courtroom with different roosters in a present of assist.

Julien Papineau, who describes himself because the lawyer for each Fesseau and Maurice, advised CNN he’s assured the trial will favor his shoppers.

“A rooster will not be an irregular, insufferable or extreme bother,” he mentioned.

“This rooster was not there to be fashionable. It lives there amongst hens prefer it has at all times has. As a result of its homeowners need eggs.”

Christophe Sueur, mayor of Saint-Pierre-D’Oléron advised CNN that the case is an instance of deeper points in up to date society.

“The issue is that we not tolerate one another,” he mentioned, including that the normal sounds of the countryside ought to be protected.

“Right here, we are able to hear songs of turtledoves, the sound of seagulls, tractors, that is what makes the fantastic thing about our island too. The soundscape is essential and it’s a part of what contributes to the appeal of our panorama,” he mentioned.

And Magali Richaud, a lawyer specializing in animal regulation, advised CNN these sort of points are widespread.

“We’re in a traditional dispute, with noise issues and metropolis dwellers who don’t perceive,” she mentioned, including that whereas the complainants may declare for compensation in the event that they win the case, Maurice will live on.

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“We can’t order the destruction of property, the destruction of Maurice. He’s nonetheless a residing being endowed with sensitivity.”

The trial additionally struck a chord with Bruno Dionis du Sejour, mayor of Gajac, a rural city within the south of France, who has referred to as on the federal government to record distinctive parts of the French rural soundscape as a part of the nationwide protected cultural heritage.

“I hope the proprietor of the rooster will win. It’s nonetheless unimaginable that individuals who come from the town don’t wish to hear the sounds of the countryside: the rooster, the cow, the church bell,” he advised CNN.

“The hole between the countryside and the town is being widened.”

As for Fesseau, she is wanting ahead to telling Maurice about occasions of the trial.

“I’ll go see him, give him a kiss and inform him we’ll win this trial!”

CNN’s Celia Heudebourg and Rebecca Blanchard contributed to this report.

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