Tourist-scaring roosters on Croatian island spark polemics

Two elderly poultry-raisers refuse to back down

02 September, 19:51

    (ANSAmed) - ZAGREB, SEPTEMBER 2 - A group of hoteliers in the village of Stomorska has for years been trying to get two octogenarian sisters to get rid of their roosters, as their incessant crowing drive tourists away from the village, reports the newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija. The mayor of the village, on the Croatian island of Solta not far from the port of Split, is said to have ignored a petition submitted two years ago to prohibit the raising of roosters near the tourist village, and thus the accommodation owners have taken the matter to the national media. The owner of a tourism agency tells that the approximately dozen roosters normally begin crowing around three in the morning and continue until the late afternoon.

    ''The first day,'' he said, ''tourists see the irony in it, but when they realize that they won't be able to get the rest they came here for, almost all of them cancel their reservations and leave Stomorska.'' The owners of the roosters, two octogenarian sisters who raise the roosters as a hobby, have thus far refused to get rid of the animals or to move the chicken house during the summer, even after being fined. They claim the complaints are ''pure envy'' on the part of the other villagers. Others support the keeping of rural traditions on the island. ''I don't understand all this uproar for a couple of roosters - that have since the beginning of time crowed in the morning. We certainly can't let a few tourists stop life on our island,'' said the president of their neighborhood, openly at odds with the mayor, who is said to be drafting an ordinance to ban the raising of the animals during the tourist season. Tourism on Croatia's Adriatic coast is one of the main drivers of its economy.(ANSAmed).

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