Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 19:12 UK

Cockerel is told to fly the nest

Basil has made his home in gardens in the housing estate

Tyneside residents fighting to save a cockerel from eviction have lost their battle to keep him on their estate.

Basil arrived in a garden on Henderson Avenue, Gateshead, six months ago and was adopted by a number of neighbours.

But he has fallen foul of housing rules which forbid tenants from keeping farm animals, amid complaints about crowing.

The Gateshead Housing Company met with Basil's main keeper Joyce Callaghan on Monday and said she had 14 days to get rid of Basil or police would intervene.

Ms Callaghan, from Henderson Avenue, said she was devastated at the decision.

Housing managers have offered to help re-house Basil and both Joyce and the housing company have had a number of offers from the public to take the bird in.

Facebook friends

His plight even reached Buckingham Palace after fans wrote to the Queen asking her to back their "Save the Henderson Hen" campaign.

Basil now has 2,000 friends on his online Facebook page from all over the world.

In a previous statement the Gateshead Housing Company said: "Gateshead Council's tenancy agreement clearly states that tenants 'must not keep livestock, such as horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, cattle, ducks, geese and chickens at the property'.

"Also, 'animals must not cause a nuisance, annoyance or concern to anyone in the local area including any employee or agent of the council or the Gateshead Housing Company'."


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