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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:25 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: South Australia
I'm looking for genuine informed advice about dealing with Local Council issues with roosters, based on the Local Government Act (SA?), 1999, section 254 'power to make orders'.

Here is a quote from my Council that summarises their stance on rooster noise:

Quote:
I would like to clarify that the Local Government Act 1999 has provisions for dealing with this type of issue

254—Power to make orders
3. Animals that may cause a nuisance or hazard
Where an animal or animals are located which may cause, or be likely to cause, a nuisance or a hazard to health or safety, or otherwise to become a pest.

The Act provides the avenue for action on animals (that would include a rooster) that may cause or are likely to cause a nuisance. Council doesn't actually need proof of the fact that there is a nuisance but we only take action when a member of the public provides information on the times and duration of the nuisance that the animal is creating.


Please note, there are no rules or bylaws against the keeping of chickens and roosters in my Council area. The only way they can deal with it is via a noise nuisance complaint made by a neighbor. Essentially they are saying that a rooster is automatically considered a nuisance and therefore once a complaint is made they can and will act. But the wording of the Act does not presuppose or specify any animals that will automatically be considered a nuisance.

I have been issued with several ultimatums from Council about rooster noise but have so far no action has been taken by them. My latest ploy is to request proof that the roosters are actually a noise nuisance rather than someone's personal dislike. Now they are saying they don't need proof because a rooster is commonly considered a nuisance animal in suburbia.

Here are the big questions: if the Council does issue an order for the removal of the roosters
a) Is it legal and standing, without such proof as decibel readings etc.?
b) Do they have the powers to carry it out (i.e. can they forcefully enter my property and remove the roosters)?
c) What are the legal ramifications of ignoring such an order?
d) Does it get escalated to a court of law as a criminal matter?
e) Could I wind up being fined, jailed or attracting a criminal record?

Hopefully someone such as a lawyer or local government worker might see this post and provide some answers.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:28 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Following!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:07 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Associated Birdkeepers of Australia Inc may be of assistance with your issue. They were all about legal issues relating to the rights of people keeping any kind of birds. I just had a look at their site and I'm not sure how active they are now. Can't hurt to try contacting them.

http://www.birdkeepers.com.au/

For what it is worth I used to live next door to a dog that barked all day and night. That was more of a nuisance than any rooster. This really ticks me off. Poor roosters.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Im not a lawyer or an expert but I have had recent run in's with various councils regarding the goings on at some investment properties.
Each council has differing protocol and precedures, some are very efficient and some are slack. Failure to comply or blatant refusal they will send you a letter covering the fines relevant to the by law that has been breached, even if you can afford the initial fines every complaint there after will incur a higher fine, it may start at 2500, next would be 7000 and so forth. So yes, they can fine you, yes they can take you to court and yes with correct paperwork etc they can access your property and seize any and all animals regarded as a problem. No they dont need any proof what so ever, no they wont be prepared to work with you regarding decibel measurement. Unfortunately even if you lived on a thousand acres, it only takes one complaint from one person to wreck everything. By all means seek legal advice.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:33 am 
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Proud Rooster
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This should not be taken as legal advice. I have had a cursory look at the Section 254 of the Act only and have not read the rest of the Act or researched any other relevant South Australian law.
The power appears to be to order you to refrain from allowing a nuisance occur rather than to enter your property and seize birds.
"Nuisance" in this context is a legal term which has been defined in various cases at common law. Whether what you have done amounts to a nuisance is a question of fact in which might be proved by a variety of means none of which are necessarily mandatory.
Typically the penalties for failure to comply in these situations escalate with each successive offence and are civil offences rather than criminal offence but might ultimately result in custodial sentences as a last resort.
Without going into details of statutory interpretation I believe there is a good argument that the powers are restricted to situations where there is or has been an existing nuisance rather than an anticipation that one may occur in the future. I also think that the expression in the Act "or otherwise become a pest" is so vague and uncertain that it should be limited in effect to the types of situation referred to in the Section - nuisances or health hazards.
You have to decide whether it is worth taking them on and if you decide to do so it would be a good idea to engage a solicitor.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I'm following too. It really irks me that the footy bogans at the oval next door can party and play loud music and do drunken burn outs all night, but I can't have a rooster.

Now I'm assuming someone has made a complaint about your rooster to the council? If so, I think the whinging party has to keep a diary/log book of the time and duration of each crowing session before the council will do anything about it. I would ask for copies of that log book.

Really, the council should have a sort of 'cut off' point for noise complaints - like if the noisy animal spends x number of hours per day being noisy at or above x decibels, then council can do something about it. Any less than x number of hours, and the whinger just has to accept that although they think it's a nuisance, a reasonable person would be OK with it. I think some councils have this sort of rule for barking dogs (just the time though, not the decibels).

I don't think I'd let the council confiscate anything of mine, or pay fines or whatever, on someone else's say-so. What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? I would ask for evidence, such as a video log and a decibel count. If your rooster really is that much of a nuisance, the neighbour will probably do all that. If not, then they should just suck it up and get a new hobby. (Anyone can write anything in a log book. Surely that type of evidence wouldn't hold up in court!)

But in the meantime, do you use a rooster box?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Hatchling
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I know this is an old thread, but am posting in case anyone else with a loud rooster comes to read it.

I am the "complaining neighbour". I live in a residential zone. My neighbour has a rooster that lives about 7metres from my bedroom window. It starts crowing at 3:30 - 4am and does so continuously (every 10 minutes or so) until it's fully light at 6am. It is DESTROYING MY LIFE. I wear earplugs but I sleep on my side so they become painful. They also cause wax buildup in my ears so I walk around half-deaf during the day. I am not complaining about it because I want to be difficult. I am not a noisy bogan neighbour. I'm just a girl who needs more than 5 hours of sleep a night. I go to bed at 8pm and nap on weekends just to catch up on sleep. It has a negative impact on my health, my exercise, my relationships, my mood, my happiness, my ability to perform at work, my sex life with my partner, every single aspect of my life is negatively impacted by this uncaring neighbour. It leaves me often in tears. I wake up so tired that I just end up crying because my beautiful life is being made so difficult.

I have been talking politely with my neighbour about it for around 9 months. Off and on he will put it away in the shed at night and I get some sleep, and then he will just decide not to do it anymore and I'm back to square one. I have raised it with the council but don't want to have to take it further with them, but it seems I will have to. I don't want an ongoing dispute with my neighbour, but this is my life he is ruining. It is stressful for me to have to talk to him all the time, stressful not to know if he has bothered to put it in his shed tonight or not, stressful to not know if I will get enough sleep to function normally. I cannot begin to describe how disgusted I am with this person's selfish behaviour.

Sometimes people are complaining because your choices are having extreme negative impacts on their life. Please consider that they might actually be in genuine distress because of your selfishness.

If you don't live in the country, don't have a damn rooster.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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LizaMay wrote:
I know this is an old thread, but am posting in case anyone else with a loud rooster comes to read it.

I am the "complaining neighbour". I live in a residential zone. My neighbour has a rooster that lives about 7metres from my bedroom window. It starts crowing at 3:30 - 4am and does so continuously (every 10 minutes or so) until it's fully light at 6am. It is DESTROYING MY LIFE. I wear earplugs but I sleep on my side so they become painful. They also cause wax buildup in my ears so I walk around half-deaf during the day. I am not complaining about it because I want to be difficult. I am not a noisy bogan neighbour. I'm just a girl who needs more than 5 hours of sleep a night. I go to bed at 8pm and nap on weekends just to catch up on sleep. It has a negative impact on my health, my exercise, my relationships, my mood, my happiness, my ability to perform at work, my sex life with my partner, every single aspect of my life is negatively impacted by this uncaring neighbour. It leaves me often in tears. I wake up so tired that I just end up crying because my beautiful life is being made so difficult.

I have been talking politely with my neighbour about it for around 9 months. Off and on he will put it away in the shed at night and I get some sleep, and then he will just decide not to do it anymore and I'm back to square one. I have raised it with the council but don't want to have to take it further with them, but it seems I will have to. I don't want an ongoing dispute with my neighbour, but this is my life he is ruining. It is stressful for me to have to talk to him all the time, stressful not to know if he has bothered to put it in his shed tonight or not, stressful to not know if I will get enough sleep to function normally. I cannot begin to describe how disgusted I am with this person's selfish behaviour.

Sometimes people are complaining because your choices are having extreme negative impacts on their life. Please consider that they might actually be in genuine distress because of your selfishness.

If you don't live in the country, don't have a damn rooster.

If you live in Victoria, you can make a noise complaint via the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act rather than via the Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations. There is essentially no guidelines for doing it that way, if it is disturbing to your health, the offending party has to comply (even if it isn't technically in breach of the EPA regulations).

If you aren't in VIC, check the relevant health act in your state, there may be a provision in there for a complaint on similar grounds.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:51 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
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I don't get the decibel reading requirement people have kept referring to. It's not just the 'loudness' it's the fact that the noise is having the effect on people that it does. If a bathroom shower-head is leaking or a tap dripping I can't sleep - it's not loud but does cause sleep deprivation. Roosters can crow all night and peacocks scream at 3.00 am and I enjoy hearing the sound if awake. But I totally get how unbearable it can be for some people, and it is not how loud it is, but the fact that it is there at all and can be clearly heard at unacceptable times.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:48 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Had a similar problem. I keep roosters, i live in a "country town". I had a number of roosters and it all started after i thought i would do the right thing and say to the neighbour, if they bother you let me know.
They said they didn't mind. LOL................well.
4 weeks later they say the roosters are bothering them a little........ But any time after 7am is ok because they go to work.
All good, i said ill put them away in box' at night, which i did.
3 weeks later they call me over and say they are crowing all day. "i thought these people are at work all day"................
According to them it was just ONE. So i kept an ear out over the weekend and decided there was one that was a little noisier than the rest, so i took him out to the farm.
They thanked me and said theyd rather talk to me than ring council..........
3 weeks later after getting my birds out of their night box' one crows...........LOL......i get my neighbour yelling to shut it up and then she starts smashing the fence with a shovel.
I talked to her husband and he said he wasn't aware and would talk to her..........Sorry i have to laugh again...........Following morning the smashing on the fence starts again, but guess who......yes the husband.
Then council come around, anyhow i tell him these people just have nothing better to do and must be complaining from their work place as they are not home all day. I ask council to define ALL DAY.........??
Anyhow the fella on council is a reasonable fella and asked me to keep some records of crow times etc, funny i didn't get asked to show them even though i stayed home to record and try to find the problem.
I got rid of alot of "JUST ONE" roosters.
The council fella comes back in a month and tells me there is no problem. I was doing the right thing putting them away at night and NO one else even realized i had rooster. He sat in my driveway for most days while i was at work and said he rarely heard anything so go about my business as usual.
Now all i have to put up with is my neighbour smashing the fence and anything else they can find when ever they see fit and have since thought they would now divert all their storm water into my property as well.
It is a wonderful world we live in lol...........

Mind you, the smashing on the fence don't solve anything it just upsets my birds and when they get upset, they tend to be noisey. :rofl:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:37 pm 
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Great Game
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Yeah mate, as my old mum used to say "There's nowt as funny as folk".

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