Dogs, cockerels, parrots, rabbits and farm animals have all resulted in noise complaints. In some cases, the council can investigate complaints and intervene.
With all animal noise related complaints we would advise that you first attempt to informally resolve the issue by speaking to the owner in order to try and resolve the issue without formal intervention. This will always be the council's first piece of advice.
If informal intervention does not help improve the situation then we will be able to write to the owners advising them of concerns raised and their responsibilities as animal owners. More than often this will lead to the situation improving gradually and no further intervention is required. If this is not the case then we would require you to provide us with evidence of the noise through a diary of when the noise is happening. This should include date, time, duration and type of noise for each event. Thewill allow officers to determine if there is a potential statutory nuisance or not and whether the council can offer further intervention. If there is no suggestion of a statutory nuisance, or evidence is not provided, then we would take no further action and direct complainants to take their own formal action.
We receive around 350 complaints about dog barking every year. Please see our web page on Dog Barking for information on:
- How to resolve the issue yourself;
- How we deal with an unresolved dog barking issue; and
Poultry keeping is becoming more popular, but neighbours may not appreciate cockerels welcoming the dawn each day. For advice on poultry keeping, see Poultry Keeping.
Complaints about noise from cockerels are always best discussed informally with the owner first as they may not be aware that there is an issue. Where this does not improve the situation, Environmental Health can investigate and where necessary take formal enforcement action. However, please note that cockerel noise concerns have a lower priority than other work carried out by Environmental Health and therefore a response will only be provided when volumes of higher priority work permit.
If you have problem with noise from a neighbour's animal, it's always best to discuss it informally with them first. They may not be aware that it is causing problems for others. Where this does not improve the situation, Environmental Health Contact Details can investigate and where necessary take formal enforcement action. However, we are unlikely to pursue complaints concerning animals on working farms.
Where the council investigates and takes formal action, this is usually done under the law of Statutory Nuisance. This means that in order for us to pursue an investigation there must be sufficient evidence to deem that there is a potential statutory nuisance being caused by the noise. Please see Statutory Nuisance for more information. Where there is not enough evidence to suggest a statutory nuisance then the council would be unable to intervene any further and would suggest taking your own legal action.
Taking your own action
Residents can take their own legal action against the owners of noisy animals.This process is usually much faster than formal action by local authorities and can be used in a number of cases where the local authority cannot take action due to the noise concern not being deemed a statutory nuisance under the law An outline of the options available is provided at the bottom of the Dog Barking page.