German police. File picture: Julian Staehle/dpa via AP

Trier - A driver was stopped by police in Germany after officers spotted a cockerel riding shotgun beside her.

The fully-grown male chicken was sitting in the front passenger's seat and wearing a seatbelt, police reported in a statement on Monday.

Motorway patrol officers let the woman continue on her journey because her feathered friend was safely secured in accordance with the rules of the road, the police said.

Sitting in the back were two German shepherds, also securely strapped in.

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The 30-year-old woman from the Netherlands explained to officers that she was on a Sunday road trip and never went travelling without her pets.

Police conducted the check near the town of Frankenthal on the autobahn 61, which runs from Germany's border with the Netherlands to the south-east.

"We've never had a case like this before," a spokesman said.