The Environmental Case Law Index is a collection of judgments from 10 African countries on topics relating to environmental law, both substantive and procedural. The collection focuses on cases where an environmental interest interacts with governmental or private interests.
Get started on finding judgments that are relevant to you by browsing the topic list on the left of the screen. Click the arrows next to the topic names to reveal a detailed list of sub-topics. Most judgments are accompanied by a short summary written by subject-area expert postgraduate students from the University of Cape Town.
Read also JIFA's Environmental Country Reports for SADC
The court considered an application for an injunction to restrain the defendant's act of nuisance and damages, due to excessive noise made by the chickens in the early hours of the morning, which prevented the plaintiff from having a good sleep, an odious smell emanating from the same chicken pens as a result of excreta or droppings from the poultry and, rats, flies and fleas escaping from the poultry into the house and disturbing his comfort and impairing his health.
The issue for determination was whether there was a statutory nuisance or not by applying the principles of common law, which laid down for the protection of individuals, in the exercise or enjoyment of their rights.
The court accepted the evidence of the plaintiff that the chickens made noise at the early hours of the mornings, and when some 400 chickens do join together to click or make noise about the same time and at this particular time of the night, it was bound to be excessive and to disturb the peace of a neighbour, who was barely five feet from their pens.
The court accepted the plaintiff's evidence that bad smells came out of the defendant's poultry. Concerning the question of flies, rats and fleas, it was found that in the absence of satisfactory evidence on these points, it was difficult to say that nuisance had been established.
Consequently, the injunction was granted, and ordered that the plaintiff was entitled to damages