An animal lover has railed against a local council for fining her £120 after she fed crumbs of her Greggs vegan sausage roll to pigeons.
Kerris Fenn, 22, tore up the last mouthful of her lunch and scattered it for the birds after they ‘sweetly’ gathered around her in Manchester city centre last Sunday.
But she was quickly collared by Piccadilly Gardens’ enforcement officers who she claims demanded to see her ID before slapping her with the hefty penalty.
Manchester City Council has defended its zero tolerance approach to littering, yet Ms Ferris insists the pigeons gobbled up all the scraps and branded the fine ‘crazy’.
She said: ‘It’s the most expensive lunch ever. I’m not going back (to Piccadilly Gardens), definitely not. I can’t believe it.
‘I’m still angry about it. It’s upsetting how shocking it was, and how embarrassing it was – in front of so many people’.
Still seething from paying the penalty, the customer support worker from Cardiff, who was visiting her brother, recalled the ‘outrageous’ episode from July 26.
She said: ‘I was sat in Piccadilly Gardens. I had walked over from the Arndale Centre.
‘I was eating a Greggs Sausage Roll. It was less than a mouthful left. (The pigeons) had gathered around. I thought it was quite sweet.
‘I just really like animals, I’m a vegan. I ripped it into tiny pieces. I tried feeding the crumbs to them. It was just a small group, not flocks and flocks.’
Enforcement officers from 3GS, working on behalf of the council, bore down on her and ‘demanded her ID’.
Ms Ferris, who works for a media marketing company, said: ‘They charged me £120 (for littering).
‘It would have been more than £150 if I left it more than 10 days. It’s outrageous.’
‘It’s is crazy to treat me the same as someone who throws litter on the floor.’
Ms Ferris appealed to the council to rip up the fine and insisted she would have stopped feeding the birds if she had been told.
But she claims to have been told ‘they said I would have to wait until my case proceeds to court’.
She decided to pay the fine as she didn’t want it to go up to £150 but is reeling from the hit to her wallet.
Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, said: ‘Feeding the pigeons is littering, plain and simple. Clear signs are in place in Piccadilly Gardens to advertise this fact.
‘While we take no pleasure in handing out Fixed Penalty Notices to offenders, it’s extremely important that people understand that they should not be feeding the birds in this way.
‘Illegally dropping food for the pigeons is bad for the local environment and can also be harmful to the birds, as many items intended for human consumption are not suitable for them to eat.’