£75 littering fine for feeding pasty scraps to a pigeon
A woman was issued with a £75 litter fine - for feeding a scrap of her leftover lunchtime pasty to a pigeon.
An onlooker said the woman was seen by a plain-clothes "education and enforcement" worker from Bolton council, and given the fixed penalty notice because she fed the bird.
Gavin Moynihan, an AA worker who witnessed the confrontation in Bolton city centre, told the Daily Mail: “A man came over and told her what she was doing was against some Act and gave her a fine. I was really shocked.
“I was really annoyed by what happened. I could not believe it. She was putting rubbish in the bin and then just gave a bit of her pasty to the birds.”
Bolton council said that her feeding of the pigeon was classed as littering because pigeons are “vermin” and should not be fed, even though she binned her pasty wrapper in the correct manner.
But it has now written to the woman to say she will not be fined, after it received a complaint over the incident.
A spokesman said: “It is not our intention to target individuals unnecessarily and issue fines where education is more appropriate.
“Feeding pigeons in the town centre is discouraged as the birds are vermin and seen as a nuisance to many.
“We will be writing to the individual with the intention of cancelling the fixed penalty notice, but would like to remind the public dropping litter is an offence and we would advise people not to encourage pigeons by feeding them.”
Despite Mr Moynihan’s outrage, a local shop worker said he supported the council’s stance.
Mark Schofield, 51, said: “If people are fined for dropping a cigarette end they should be fined for dropping any sort of litter.”
In 2009 a mother was given a £75 litter fine for feeding the ducks at her local park with her 17-month-old son Harry.
Vanessa Kelly, 26, vowed to fight the council “all the way” after visiting the park in Smethwick, West Midlands.
And last November a litter-picking enthusiast who spends an hour every day tidying up rubbish was stunned to find he had been fined £75 for putting refuse in a bin.
Former geologist David Baker, 39 from Stourbridge, was accused by council officials of fly-tipping because they said he had used a public street bin to deposit a pizza box and junk mail.
Figures show that almost 64,000 littering fines were issued by covert patrols in England last year, a 90-fold increase in 15 years.