Dogs in a French town have been banned from “excessive” barking, with the owners facing fines if they fail to keep their pets quiet.
Jean-Pierre Estienne, the mayor of Feuquières in northern France, has introduced £60 fines to anyone whose pet is caught repeatedly barking.
According to Le Parisien, the mayor of the town, which has a population of about 1,500, said people had faced “unbearable” noise for years.
“The goal is not to ban dogs,” he said. “The town has nothing against dogs, but when we decide to have them, we educate them.
“The goal is to respond to an unbearable situation experienced by some residents of the town, who complained for years.”
Under the new rules, which came into force on Monday, dogs are banned from leaving their enclosure without the presence of their owner, who is tasked with immediately stopping “prolonged or repeated barking”.
The measure prompted outrage among animal rights groups. One activist, Stéphane Lamart, told Le Monde: “It is completely amazing.
“Dogs have a mouth, it’s to bark! People are happy when they give the alert in case of burglary.”