A student has been slapped with a £150 ticket after being caught feeding the pigeons a piece of his tortilla wrap in Piccadilly Gardens.
25-year-old Rishi Prem, who only moved to the UK in February, told the MEN he was unaware of the law and did not know he was technically littering when he handed a piece of his meal to the birds.
But an environmental enforcement officer explained that it was not permitted and immediately issued a fine for £150.
Mr Prem told the MEN: “[The officer] was watching me from the moment I sat down and started eating, and he saw the birds coming towards me so he could have warned me. But there was no warning – it was like he was just waiting for that moment.
“I have only been here four or five months, I have no knowledge of the laws and did not know that it was a crime. And there were no signs around saying that.
“In my country it is common. It is usual to feed other living things. It is just a natural human action.”
“I felt sympathy for [the pigeon] as it looked so hungry,” Mr Prem added.
There have been multiple instances of people being issued with penalties for feeding wildlife in Manchester city centre.
Last summer, a woman was handed a £120 fine for sharing her Greggs sausage roll with the Piccadilly Gardens pigeons.
A litter-picker was also given a £150 ticket for giving the birds some potatoes.
Manchester Council have emphasised fines are in place to deter people from feeding animals as the habit is “bad for the local environment and can also be harmful to the birds”.
Executive Member for Neighbourhoods Rabnawaz Akbar said the council would continue to issue fines for these offences.
“Our residents have told us that they want to enjoy a clean, hygienic city centre and we won’t tolerate this behaviour,” he stated.
“There are signs in and around Piccadilly Gardens, where this issue is more prevalent, to let people know that feeding pigeons is not allowed.”
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons