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French Rooster Wins Battle to Crow 

FILE - A rooster named Maurice, accused in a lawsuit of being a nuisance, is pictured at Saint-Pierre-d'Oleron in La Rochelle, western France, June 5, 2019.

Maurice, a French rooster, now has a legal victory to crow about.

A court in Rochefort in western France on Thursday rejected complaints by Maurice's neighbors that he was a nuisance and made too much noise.

The rooster's owner, Corrine Fesseau, who lives in the village of Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron, was sued by neighbors who claimed Maurice's crowing had made their holidays stressful.

Fesseau made several attempts to silence the rooster, including placing black sheets around his coop to trick him into thinking that morning had not yet broken.

Ultimately, the judge found that Maurice, being a rooster, had a right to crow.

"This rooster was not being unbearable," Julien Papineau, Fesseau's attorney, said. "He was just being himself."

The court also awarded Fesseau $1,100 in damages.

Maurice's case made headlines worldwide as an example of urbanites moving to rural areas and trying to change them.

The mayor of Maurice's hometown called the case the "height of intolerance."

In May, Bruno Dionis, mayor of the southwestern village of Gajac, wrote an open letter to French lawmakers defending the rights of church bells to ring, cows to moo and donkeys to bray throughout rural France. Such noises are part of "the rhythm of the countryside and things that make it what it is, which are as dear as they are simple," Dionis wrote, who also asked the government to add the sounds to France's heritage list.