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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 10:06 GMT
Rowdy ravens are given gag order
The owner of a bird sanctuary has been served a noise abatement order after complaints about two squawking ravens.

Tom Baker runs the Calne Wild Bird and Animal Rescue Centre in the garden of his Wiltshire home.

He has been told by North Wiltshire District Council to silence the birds after complaints from neighbours.

Mr Baker says the ravens make no more noise than local wild birds and he would rather go to jail than obey orders to cover their aviary at night.

"Some mornings, the telephone wires are full up with rooks, crows and jackdaws.

"They're squawking their heads off and you can't hear mine above those," he said.

Council obligation

Mr Baker believes covering the cages to keep the ravens quiet would be an act of cruelty.

A statement from the council said: "In the granting of planning permission for an aviary it is not practical to stipulate which birds can be kept in the aviary. Each situation can present a very different set of circumstances.

"In much the same way as planning permission might be granted for a pub, we would still need to take action if it was found that the pub created a noise nuisance.

"The council has an obligation to investigate any complaints regarding noise causing a nuisance and take action if it is deemed necessary."

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