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Sisters Fined £150 For Feeding Pigeons With McDonald's Hash Brown

Sisters Fined £150 For Feeding Pigeons With McDonald's Hash Brown

Jacqueline Falconer and her sister Nicola were unaware that feeding birds risks a council-issued fine

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

Two sisters have been slapped with a £150 ($200) fine each after feeding a McDonald's hash brown to some pigeons.

Jacqueline Falconer, 53, and her sister Nicola, 48, were Christmas shopping in Manchester city centre on Wednesday morning (9 December).

Jacqueline and Nicola.
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They left Primark to get breakfast from McDonald's, and got their sausage and egg McMuffin meals to take away, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The sisters, from Worsley in Salford, Greater Manchester, sat on a step in Piccadilly Gardens and tucked into their grub.

They said that as soon as they took the food from the brown paper bag, they were swarmed by pigeons.

Unaware that feeding birds risks a council-issued fine, they gave the pigeons a piece of their hash brown in an attempt to get rid of them.

Seconds later, the sisters claim they were stopped by two enforcement officers - who slapped them both with a fine.

Jacqueline said: "We are both scared of birds and they were flying at us so we threw the food to get them to go away.

"Straight away, these two officers came over and said we were not allowed to throw food to the birds and there was a sign stating so.

"It was just horrible. Everyone was looking over at us.

"There were no signs where we were sitting. The officers just pointed to a sign that was on the other side of Piccadilly Gardens."


The sisters were issued a fine of £150 on behalf of Manchester council but say they won't be paying.

Jacqueline continued: "Both my sister and I suffer from anxiety and we just needed to get these birds off our back.

"I have a heart condition and I've recently overcome breast cancer, so it's just quite a stressful time for me at the moment.

"We are going to appeal the fine - £150 is a lot of money that neither of us have to spare, especially as I'm currently on furlough and only receiving 80 percent pay.

"If it the appeal isn't accepted, then we will have to fight it in court. It's so ridiculous. I've never heard anything like it."

Jacqueline and Nicola aren't the first people to receive a hefty fine for feeding birds in the city centre.

Kerris Fenn, 22, was fined after she was caught feeding Greggs vegan sausage roll crumbs to pigeons in Piccadilly Gardens in July this year.

Manchester City Council's Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: "Our message is simple - we don't want people to feed the pigeons and will continue to issue fines for this littering offence until the penny drops, instead of the food.

"It is bad for the local environment, potentially bad for the health of people and the birds themselves and can also attract rats.

"Our residents and visitors have told us that they want to enjoy a clean, hygienic city centre and so we won't tolerate this behaviour."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Animals, Health