The boss of a sanctuary has been given an ultimatum: silence his animals within the next 90 days or face prosecution.
Amey James, the founder of The Happy Pants Ranch in Bobbing, near Sittingbourne, has received official discount notices from Swale Council.
Founder Amey James speaking after the warning written in April
She first received a written warning in April ordering her to stop “allowing animals on earth to make unreasonable noise levels.”
He was specifically referring to the 20 geese and 50 roosters on the ranch, as well as a generator on the site. The charity was told at the time that it was facing a fine of up to £ 2,500.
However, the charity has now been given a deadline to stop the noise, which now also includes sheep, cattle and dogs, or it could be sued and fined indefinitely.
Amey, 37, said: “It’s so upsetting. Now it’s basically all the animals that are a problem, and I don’t know how they expect me to sort that out – how do we soundproof the cows?
“We will either have to leave the site or relocate the animals; it’s just awful.
“It all seems so wrong and I can’t believe this is continuing. “
She added, “If you can’t keep animals here on 20 acres of land in the country in a non-residential area, then where can you keep them?
“For many people who visit and volunteer at the shrine, it is a place of peace and harmony; that’s why those with mental health issues find it to be such good therapy here.
Amey, who lives at the ranch with her boyfriend Phil Greenhalgh, 32, said after the written warning, the charity blackened the windows of roosters’ barns, to keep them from crowing at sunrise, tried to encourage geese to use a pond further away. away from neighbors and place the generator in a shed to try to soundproof it.
But, as the charity has since had to apply for permission for the field, registered for agricultural purposes, to be used as a sanctuary, it has been unable to make further changes.
“We wanted to relocate the roosters and we would like to put in a new soundproof shed for the generator, but we are not allowed to build any structures until permission is granted,” Amey said.
She added: “We have already appealed the decision; I just think it’s unfair.
“No evidence has been presented to us showing what the noise nuisance is or when it occurs, so we have not been able to assess it and act properly.
“I also feel disappointed with the lack of communication from the board. It’s twice now that they’ve come and given me a piece of paper, but they haven’t given me any advice on how to deal with this.
The noise complaints came after the rescue center – a sanctuary for 350 unwanted or abandoned animals, ranging from cows, dogs, ducks and sheep to goats, parrots, pigs and more – was moved from its location. old Yelsted base to the new site earlier this year.
“I never envisioned having problems like this,” Amey said. “It makes you so uncomfortable as soon as one of the animals makes noise and that’s not okay.”
“I just feel like there is very little I can do.”
Swale’s council confirmed that it had issued noise reduction advisories at the sanctuary site, as its investigations into a number of complaints determined there was a legal noise nuisance.
The advisories require the charity to remedy generator noise within 28 days and daily noise from animals, including roosters, geese, sheep, cattle and dogs within 90 days.
A spokesperson said: “We recognize this is a sensitive issue and as such we have given owners extended time to reduce animal noise nuisance.
“We will of course support homeowners where we can, but once we determine that noise levels exceed what can reasonably be expected for a given location, we are required by law to act.
“Throughout the investigation, we have offered to work with the site operator to resolve the situation, and this will continue to be the case in the future.
“Failure to comply with notices can lead to prosecution and magistrates can impose an unlimited fine. “
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