The Italian Almanac

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Testing the Cock

The fate of a cock whose early morning crows have irked neighbours and made him a celebrity in a northern Italian town is to be decided by a decibel test. It will be carried out at the end of this month by Italian animal rights association AIDAA to settle a dispute between the bird's owners, who live on the ground floor of an apartment block at Villa di Serio near Bergamo, and the inhabitants of the apartment above. The owners have promised that the cock will not end up on a dinner table even if AIDAA says the screeching is beyond acceptable levels.

They said they will find him a new home, which should not be hard given that the story has made the animal something of a local star. Its life has been colourful from the off. The owners bought it in the hope of having a regular supply of fresh eggs and gave it a female name, Pia, only to realise later it was not a hen.