Cock-a-doodle-don’t! Roosters face the chop after being silenced by courts after neighbours complain the early morning crowing disturbs their sleep
- Jess Marson, 33, may be forced to kill her seven cockerels who crow in morning
- The council imposed a noise abatement order after a neighbour complained
- On one early-morning visit, they were heard to crow 146 times in half an hour
- Ms Marson failed to reduce the noise and now has agreed to remove cockerels
The dawn crowing of cockerels has been a feature of countryside life for centuries.
But the morning chorus on one farm has been silenced by magistrates, who insist the birds have no place on land close to a village.
Animal lover Jess Marson, 33, could be forced to kill her seven cockerels, who crow early in the morning from a smallholding on a field that has been part of a farm for more than a century.
The council imposed a noise abatement order after neighbour Gary Leader and his wife complained the crowing was disturbing their sleep.
Miss Marson, an HGV driver, stood her ground despite being prosecuted for failing to reduce the noise.
But after three appearances before magistrates, Miss Marson has admitted failing to comply with noise abatement notices and signed an undertaking to remove the cockerels.
She was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs. Miss Marson keeps goats, a pig, geese, hens and ducks as well as chickens, including the cockerels, on land leased from a working farm.
Animal lover Jess Marson (pictured), 33, could be forced to kill her seven cockerels, who crow early in the morning from a smallholding on a field that has been part of a farm for more than a century
The council imposed a noise abatement order on Miss Marson after neighbour Gary Leader and his wife complained the crowing was disturbing their sleep
Court bills mean she has moved further away from the village of Scissett, near Huddersfield, and is considering the future of all of her animals.
Prosecutor Ian Mullarkey told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court that Mr Leader lived close enough to be disturbed by the animals. ‘He complained that his sleep was being disturbed by cockerels crowing and affected him and his wife’s sleep,’ he said.
The council’s environmental health officer visited Mr Leader’s home at 5.30am in April and found the cocks’ crowing was ‘intrusive and at a level and frequency to prevent sleep and prevent the average person returning to sleep’. Over following mornings, environmental health officers returned and heard the cocks’ crowing through closed bedroom windows.
On one occasion five cockerels could be heard crowing 34 times in 13 minutes.
Miss Marson was served with a noise abatement order, but made no effort to silence the birds.
On another early-morning visit, the cockerels were heard to crow 146 times in 30 minutes, Mr Mullarkey told the court.
‘Mr Leader said the impact of the crowing and its frequency intrusiveness has affected his quality of living and the enjoyment of his property,’ he added.
Prosecutor Ian Mullarkey told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court (pictured) that Mr Leader lived close enough to be disturbed by the animals
Miss Marson keeps goats, a pig, geese, hens and ducks as well as chickens, including the cockerels, on land leased from a working farm
‘Now, Miss Marson has agreed to give an undertaking she will remove the cockerels from the land within 28 days and she will not bring or have any more cockerels on the land in any time after.’
Ben Bell, mitigating, said his client had attended court three times and it was ‘regrettable’ that it had taken that many occasions to ‘resolve’ the situation.
Bench chairman Benedetto Paolozzi told Miss Marson: ‘The council started to engage with you and curb the time the cockerels were disturbing residents. You did not engage with the council. The cockerels were crowing at an unreasonable time and at a level that would ruin a normal person’s sleep and enjoyment of their own home.’
Miss Marson said: ‘I will be getting rid of the cockerels.
‘I’ve got four weeks to find a home for them, but not everyone wants cockerels and if necessary they will have to be humanely euthanised. I am looking for someone to give them a home.’