The Mysterious Chronicles Of Mosfellsbær’s Unruly Cocks - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Mysterious Chronicles Of Mosfellsbær’s Unruly Cocks

Published September 26, 2017

Alice Demurtas
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons

An Icelandic man’s long battle over preventing his chickens from being confiscated by the police has finally come to an end. According to local news outlet Mbl, the Supreme Court recently rejected the decision of the District Court of Reykjavík to allow the police to search the man’s house in the town of Mosfellsbær for a group of illegal chickens, including two unregistered cocks.

A man’s right to chicken
The misadventures of these Mosfellsbær cocks began more than a year ago when the Board of Public Health in the area of Kjós voted in favour of removing said bipeds from their home. The cocks had apparently been causing inconvenience to their neighbours for more than a year with their incessant crowing. In addition, the Board insisted that since the house belongs to the town of Mosfellsbær, it needs to respect the municipality’s rules in regards to owning and breeding chickens outside of land that is being used for agricultural purposes.

The man, for his part, argued that he had every right to keep his chickens and his unruly cocks, for his house was in fact a farm, and it had been registered and used as such for the past 46 years.

He decided to appeal to the Environment and Natural Resources Complaints Committee, hoping to reverse the Board’s decision. When the Committee last February ruled in favour of The Board of Public Health, however, the chickens were not immediately removed, even though the Capital Area Police were aware of the Board’s ruling since last March. It was only recently that the request for a search warrant arose.

Mystery solved
Besides the pain for the possible departure of his chickens, what the man found the most unsettling was the fact that the police tried to employ the same procedures that are generally used to investigate criminal cases. The problem, however, wasn’t whether or not the chickens were being held in the house, but whether they were held in a house, as the Board implied, or io a farm, as the man contended. As this was not a criminal case but rather a bureaucratic one, the Supreme Court ended up rejecting both the request to search the house as well as to retrieve the chickens, which will instead be allowed to continue living in their house (or on their farm) as a happy family.

At last, all is well in Cocksville.

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