Published: 00:01, 16 May 2014
A complaint about a noisy cockerel in a rural part of the Island led to fears it was going to be “removed” by Swale council.
It may sound like a wind-up that resident Julia Bird, who lives in a house named The Rookery, was trying to save her namesake – but she really did receive a letter about the issue.
The 51-year-old, of Scocles Road, Minster, was shocked to receive the correspondence concerning noise pollution from a feral cockerel.
The local authority wrote to her saying it had received a complaint about the noise it made and, when someone from the council visited, she was asked how she would feel about the bird being taken away.
It does not belong to her, but lives in the fields behind the houses and she says it roosts in a barn she owns.
Mrs Bird said: “Almost all the road backs onto fields so we do get rural noises – cockerels, pheasants, horses, sheep, cows and foxes and we also get very noisy crows, magpies and seagulls.
“These are all natural country noises and we have no problems with hearing them.
“By ‘remove’ I am sure they mean euthanase, which I’m sure many readers might find as distasteful as I do.”
She is furious and said it was ridiculous to consider removing the animal because of one person’s complaint.
She compared it with all the other sounds which come with living in the countryside.
“She said: “When the farmers go and feed the sheep they make a noise – shall we complain to the farmers?
“Should we shoot all the wild birds as they make a racket with the dawn chorus?
“The cars going up and down Scocles Road make more noise than a cockerel – shall we ban the cars?
“How ridiculous some people are. If you don’t like country noises, move to a town.”
Mrs Bird, who has lived in the road for 22 years, says she responded to the council saying she was not happy for officials to remove it.
A Swale council spokesman said: “We received a noise complaint from a resident of Scocles Road on about a cockerel causing too much noise at a particular property.
“We wrote to the person who we were told is the owner, but they informed us that they are not and that it is wild.
“We have now gone back to the person that made the complaint and advised them that, as the bird is wild, we are unable to take this matter any further.
“It is not our policy to remove cockerels if they are causing too much noise. We would advise people to rehome them in a more suitable location.”