A bachelor who bought two pet geese as company during the coronavirus lockdown has been told to get rid of them because of the noise they make.
Sven Kirby has hand reared the birds since buying them for £40 each in June.
He’s frequently spotted around Leeds, West Yorkshire, walking with his beloved pets Beep Beep and Norbert, and when at home they waddle around his house wearing nappies.
But the 34-year-old has been left heartbroken after being told by his local council that he has to stop the birds from making too much noise following complaints from neighbours — meaning he might have to get rid of them.
His experience comes after charity Birdline said there had been a large increase in people giving up their pet parrots for adoption during lockdown because they are too noisy.
An abatement notice from Leeds City Council says Kirby must “prevent the recurrence of the nuisance” within 28 days or face a fine of up to £5,000.
“The prospect of losing them is heart-breaking,” said the admin assistant. “It almost feels as if social services are taking my children away. Norbert and Beep Beep do see me as their father or mother.
Kirby said he had been approached by two of his neighbours about the noise the pair make, so he tried to solve the issue by moving them inside at night.
But apparently, neighbours are still unhappy about the noise during the day when Kirby is at work and his pets are in their pens in the garden.
He said: “They make a noise when they see someone pass or hear something, it's like a defence mechanism. It is a fairly loud honk but it's not something which happens all the time.
“What my neighbours and the council fail to realise are that these birds are my pets, they're not livestock.
“Just because they're geese does not mean they don't have the same standing in my house as a cat or a dog might in others.”
According to the notice he has received, the issue needs to be resolved by December 8 and Kirby said while it does not order him to get rid of them, the only way to stop them causing noise would be to do exactly that.
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We take any issue regarding noise nuisance in our communities extremely seriously and will always investigate any complaints that are made.
“Complaints can range from various forms of anti-social behaviour to the playing of music or loud noise of animals and birds.
“If following an investigation the level of noise is found to be of a consistent and unacceptable level a warning letter will be sent to the householder.
“This can include in some cases the serving of an abatement notice that requires steps to be taken by the householder in a reasonable timescale to reduce the noise.
“If no steps are taken, further action may be taken by the council. Anyone served with an abatement notice can appeal the decision if they wish to do so.”
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