Woman Says She Was Treated Like Criminal And Given Huge Fine For Feeding Ducks
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A woman who feeds the ducks every week has been handed a 'huge fine' because authorities accused her of littering.
According to the Daily Mirror, a 73-year-old woman from Bexleyheath was 'treated like a criminal' when a letter telling her she had to pay a £75 fine came through her letterbox.
The woman in question, Sylvie Ludlow, said she feeds the ducks each week after visiting the market as the walk takes her past St Saviour's Walk in Dartford where there are plenty of birds happy to be fed.
What the council saw was a woman who was seen to 'discard food namely bread to floor and did walk away', which might sound like littering if only there weren't a bunch of ducks involved in the whole situation.
The 73-year-old was shocked to discover that she'd been fined for something as innocuous as feeding the ducks.
She said: "I have never committed a crime in all my life. I was so upset and shocked to be accused of littering.
"I was treated like a criminal. It is not littering, as soon as you leave the seeds and bread it is gone. I actually pick up other people's litter when I see it.
"I pick up plastic bottles or cans and I recycle them. So to be accused of littering was so upsetting."
Fortunately for Sylvie, her fine has been dropped after her partner, Mark Smith, took to social media to ask other local residents whether they had received similar punishments.
Plenty of people said they'd had experiences like Sylvie's, and local councillor Jeremy Kite was able to get the fine scrapped.
Whether or not councillor Kite had done so, Sylvie told Kent Online she wouldn't have paid it anyway because she doesn't think it's an offence to feed the ducks, which sounds fair.
A spokesperson for Dartford council said that while they would 'never want to discourage anyone' from feeding the ducks and acknowledged there was no need for a fine in this situation, they didn't want too many people feeding bread to the ducks because it can be 'harmful' or 'encourage vermin'.
They asked people who want to feed the ducks to bring more varied foods, including sweetcorn, oats, seeds and rice.
There is actually some basis to this, as bread can make ducks feel full without giving them all the nutrients they need so just feeding bread to ducks is somewhat bad for them.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: UK News