It has become a symbol of French rural resistance to the city. Thursday, September 5, Mauritius, a rooster on the island of Oleron, in the south-west of the country, was allowed by a court to continue his morning cock.
The animal was targeted since the beginning of the summer by a complaint from neighbors who accused it of disturbing their sleep at dawn and being a "noise nuisance". The plaintiffs, a couple of retired farmers, owners of a holiday residence in Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron, were asking the Mauritius holder, Corinne Fesseau, to remove or silence the animal within 15 days.
The correctional court of Rochefort, which seized the affair of disturbance of the neighborhood, gave right to Corinne Fesseau and ordered the plaintiffs to "pay to the owner 1 000 euros of damages", as well as the payment of his legal fees, said Julien Papineau, lawyer of the owner of Mauritius.
The sounds of the French countryside, world heritage?
The business, banal in appearance, had a strong national and international impact. It has become emblematic of the discrepancy and often tense coexistence between the rural world and holidaymakers or the "neo-rurals", these city dwellers recently settled in the countryside. "What should be banned? The song of turtledoves, the cry of seagulls?", Could be read on an online petition gathering nearly 140 000 signatures.
In a country whose national symbol is a rooster, "this controversy underscores this unshakeable link that connects France to its agricultural past, which represents it as a place where farm life and the values of simplicity are exalted", analyzes with passion the New York Times in a long report published in June.
The British newspaper The Telegraph also notes that the sounds of the campaign have already made headlines this year. He recalls the initiative of Bruno Dionis du Séjour, mayor of Gajac, near Bordeaux. In May, the elected representative asked the French parliamentarians to include rural sounds, such as rooster singing, the church bell or the mooing of cows, to the intangible world heritage of Unesco.
An approach that also recalls that of the Republican MP, Pierre Morel-Ã-l'Huissier, who proposed in July a law that would create "a notion of sensory heritage inherent in the campaign," an inventory that would protect these sounds when a trial.