Roosters can crow, ducks can quack, cicadas can sing and frogs can croak again in France’s agricultural lands. France passed a law on Thursday protecting the countryside’s “sensory heritage”.
Farmers don’t have to fear getting sued anymore when their animals make noises. The new law protects countryside residents from legal action over normal “sounds and smells” associated with having animals.
Senators voted to approve the bill that was proposed after a number of court cases made headlines where vacationers or second-home owners complained about animal noises in rural areas of France.
“The countryside is this music, the rustling of branches and leaves, and cries that form an architecture when we close our eyes,” Senator Pierre-Antoine Levi told his colleagues before the vote.
In September 2019, the court ruled in favor of the owner of a rooster named Maurice in southwest France who was sued by her neighbors because they thought Maurice made too much noise.
The fight over Maurice, who died of natural causes in May last year, led to this new law protecting “sensory heritage” in rural France.
A month later, a court in western France ruled in favor of a duck and geese farmer who was sued by her neighbor for the animals’ quacking.
The new ‘noise’ law also protects whirring tractors, church bells, and other rural sounds and smells.