Paris: A woman who rears ducks and geese in her back garden in southwestern France was taken to court on Tuesday over claims the birds were too noisy.

The court heard complaints from neighbours of Dominique Douthe, 67, who rears around 50 ducks and geese in the Landes region, which is famous for its duck breeding and foie gras.

The wife of the plaintiff couple, who did not wish to be named, told AFP that when they bought the house next to Douthes “there were fewer geese and ducks, making it less noisy”.

Douthe, who lives in Soustons, told the court: “I’ve been living here for 36 years and have had ducks for 36 years. I have never had a problem with other neighbours, only with this newcomer, that’s all.”

Her lawyer said: “This is a fight for the defence of rurality. I think it is a fight that is legitimate and right.”

The neighbours were not in court but previously said that the ducks were being illegally reared next to a river that ran into a protected nature area and risked polluting the area.

Around 6,500 people have signed a petition in support of the ducks.

A verdict is due on October 1.