And finally… ruling the roost

A rooster whose owner was taken to court over his crowing has been spared death after a judge rejected a lawsuit brought by irritated neighbours.

Corinne Fesseau, owner of Maurice the rooster, told a court in Rochefort, western France in July that only a few retired summer holidaymakers had complained about Maurice’s crowing at her home on the island of Oléron.

She had faced having to silence the rooster or move away but a judge has now rejected the complaint.

The case has become a cause célèbre in France, with 140,000 people signing a “Save Maurice” petition.

Critics viewed the lawsuit as part of a wider threat against France’s rural heritage posed by city dwellers incapable of adapting to country life.

“This is the height of intolerance – you have to accept local traditions,” Christophe Sueur, the local mayor, told AFP.

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