Which comes first – the chicken or the neighbor?

When Valdis bought his property in the Dārziņi district of Rīga, he was hoping for peace and quiet. Instead, he wakes to a cacophony of rooster songs at sunrise. The Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) says that there is no law against poultry and their respective behavior as long as animal welfare is respected, Latvian Television's 4. studija reported on November 22.

Valdis bought his property in Dārziņi, Plostnieku Street, in 2019: "There was a little cottage back then, the plot was beautiful, greens, herbs, fruit trees and so on. And a couple of years later, the neighbor figured out he needed poultry."

There are more than 30 chickens now, and more in summer. "There were also turkeys who died and decomposed here. Smelly, of course. It stinks here in summer, too, and there's the noise," Valdis explained his fowl scenario.

The landlord ignores the neighbor's claims, and Valdis has already wondered about selling the property – that is, when he finds a buyer who doesn't immediately chicken out.

The chicken problem has also not been solved by the Food and Veterinary Service, whom Valdis has approached several times. 

Mareks Samohvalovs, head of the PVD Administration of North Pierīga confirmed that the inspectors had visited:

"The chickens have been found to be kept in accordance with the conditions under which livestock are kept. So the chickens themselves are fine there and have pretty good conditions. At least during the inspection, no significant deviations from compliance with the holding rules were found."

Valdis argued that there were over 50 birds but only a few had been registered with the PVD. The representative of PVD, in turn, stated that the number of birds does not matter as long as they are cared for. Do the chickens have more rights than Valdis who wants to live in peace and quiet?

“He has to either come to terms or negotiate some other pattern of action with the other neighbor, or if there is a collective submission of the neighborhood, then there would be some other mechanisms of action on our part,” Samohvalovs explained." 

The chicken keeper's opinion could not be obtained.

Rīga City Council also explained that birds may be kept in the backyard in "unlimited quantities", as well as other pets, but their owners must comply with different regulations.

Valdis is planning to approach PVD again with documentary evidence of trespassing, as according to him, these chickens not only cross the road but also the fence and walk freely on his land.

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