Raucous rooster seized

A COCKEREL which was driving residents mad thanks to its non-stop crowing was yesterday given its own rude awakening when it was seized by environmental health officers.

A COCKEREL which was driving residents mad thanks to its non-stop crowing was yesterday given its own rude awakening when it was seized by environmental health officers.

For the past few months people in homes around Plume Avenue in Colchester have had their feathers ruffled by the rooster which did not know when his job was done.

The cockerel's capers resulted in complaints from half a dozen families and, although some lived nearby, others were in surrounding streets hundreds of metres away.

The noisy neighbour was crowing at all times of day and night and Colchester Borough Council's environmental health team decided enough was enough.


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A series of warning letters were sent to the cockerel's owners, Michael and Theresa Sanders, but the couple claimed it was simply a neighbourhood dispute.

So for the first time the council used its powers of seizure to take an animal and just after 1pm the council's environmental health team, with the assistance of two police officers and the RSPCA swooped on the address.

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After a period of discussion about the powers of the warrant the couple allowed the team into the back garden, where the rooster was living with three hens, and he was seized.

The cockerel, which was in good condition, will stay in temporary accommodation until a court case is finished, but once completed it is hoped the bird will go to live on a farm in Cambridgeshire where he can crow until the cows come home.

Yesterday's capture was greeted with joy from resident Jacqueline Hayward, who said she was now looking forward to getting a good night's sleep.

“People have been woken up at all times of the day and night - it is not fair to people who live here.

“It has been going on for months and we are very pleased to see it go. We will all get a full night's sleep now and be able to go out in our gardens again.”

Beverley Jones, environmental control manager at the council, said the operation went well.

She said: “It is the first time we have ever seized an animal - we are more used to seizing televisions and stereos.

“It is absolutely the last resort but we were left with no option whatsoever. The neighbours were at the end of their tethers.

“They were being woken up through the night and it is a misnomer that they crow once in the morning at sunrise.

“Residents were saying they were woken up early every morning, through the night, and could not use their gardens. It impacts on the right of somebody to enjoy their property.”

The bird was seized under the Environmental Protection Act and afterwards Mr and Mrs Sanders refused to comment.

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