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French ducks allowed to keep quacking… for now

DAX, FRANCE – A French court has allowed a group of ducks in the south-west of the country to keep on quacking after complaints from neighbours over their noisy behaviour, at least pending a detailed investigation of noise levels.

The case of the ducks in the southwestern Landes region was the latest in the country to pit traditions of rearing animals against the tastes of newcomers, following the well-publicised legal dispute over a rowdy rooster in western France.

A couple who bought a neighbouring property last year had complained of “significant noise” from the group of around 50 ducks and geese kept the back garden of Ms Dominique Douthe, 67, in the town of Soustons.

She told AFP that the ducks had been given a stay of execution by the court in the town of Dax in a decision issued on Tuesday evening (Nov 19), adding that she was “relieved” by the ruling.

“There was no proof of any kind of illicit or abnormal trouble,” added her lawyer, Mr Philippe Lalanne.

He said that the judge had ordered an acoustic audit to test noise levels, which would be carried out in the first quarter of next year.

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