Summoned in court by his neighbors who considered his dogs too noisy, this breeder from Garéoult won his case.

In the midst of the crowing of chickens or the bells of cows, the smell of dirt or the noise of tractors at night, farmers are more often chosen by their neighbors, whether attacked or brought to justice. A sheep breeder from Garéoult recently had this experience. And if the judge leaves his neighbors (1)the incident is escalating, professionals are concerned.

In this case, three neighbors of the same family, one of whom was operating in a wine situation, summoned Franck Tilotta before the local court in Brignoles. They go on to say that the barking of his dogs guarding his flock consists of a “abnormal neighborhood disturbance”their house is located about 150 meters from the breeder’s space, and that “These barking are repetitive and sometimes last for hours” DAY and NIGHT.

“I have no choice”

They asked the court to order him, among other things, to put anti-bark electric collars on his work assistants while waiting to find a way to stop the bark, and to pay them every 6,000 euros. compensation for ongoing discrimination.

Franck Tilotta was able to defend himself with serious arguments. “Like all breeders, I have no choice. I am obligated to have means of protection against predation. In 2016, a lone wolf was hanging, I only killed one sheep. Winter 2021, there is another. alone. My dogs rejected his My neighbor the goatherd was killed by two goats less than 2km away “.

He brought in a dog trait from the National Livestock Institute, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture. “He came and slept there for two days. He saw that the alert level of my dogs was not abnormal or excessive” as he. The specialist, whose report is added to the file, points out that anti-bark collars create anxiety that adds to the stress of the presence of a danger, and that this concern over fear of punishment precludes risk aversion.

A report to the bailiff

Finally, a bailiff’s report showed that the dogs would howl when he approached the gate, that they would stop a few minutes after he was out of their sight, and that they would not bark when that he remained at a distance of 40-50 meters from. the gate. Similarly, the town hall in a letter confirmed that “Rural police reports and findings, day and night, will not allow a report to be made”.

All of these elements convinced the court of the absence of abnormal disturbance in the neighborhood and of compensable damages. Noticing, moreover, that Franck Tilotta and his neighbors lived in an agricultural area, the magistrate denied them all their requests. This may be appealing.

1. Judgment of May 17, 2022.

At least 18 months of training a guard dog

Locus, Tharos and Ahsaka were just doing their job. This mountain in the Pyrenees (or patou), this transmontano and this female Spanish mastiff, were responsible for protecting Franck Tilotta’s herd, i.e., 90 dairy ewe and two rams. They can continue to follow this court decision. A comfort for the breeder: “I was supported by the Confederation of Farmers, it even tried to mediate with my neighbors. This is the first time I have had to justify myself to the gendarmes and that I have been summoned to court”as he.

The role of these dogs is to prevent any potential danger from coming to the herd, especially by barking, a perfectly legitimate behavior. “They sound the alarm, they act as a deterrent against wolves and other predators. I taught them not to be aggressive with people, they don’t go out in parks. The training of a guard dog will last at least 18 months“, he determined.

Franck Tilotta added to do everything possible “to milk at times that are in harmony with the lives of the neighbors. And in the summer, when we sleep with the windows open, my animals are not there but in the summer pasture with the dogs”. He hires a shepherd each year to look after his sheep on the hill and to help him at the dairy where he makes his own cheeses, yogurt and curds. ” 80% of my sales are made in the Garéoult market. It’s a beautiful profession, which makes sense. I have feedback from customers, who are very loyal. The only problem is the management of predation and the trauma of an attack. Among breeders, we are only talking about the wolf“.

Hence the need for dogs. “But because of the expansion, at some point we will no longer be able to produce food, if society does not accept the consequences of our activity, he fears. However, in these times, self -satisfaction with food is important“.

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