Asbos ban Trowbridge pensioners from feeding pigeons

Image caption The council says the women emptied carrier bags of bird feed around the town several times a day

Two pensioners have been given anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) stopping them feeding pigeons in Trowbridge for five years.

Margaret Reynolds, 69, and Danuta Rogowa, 75, have been banned from buying more than three loaves of bread a day or excessively feeding any birds.

Wiltshire Council said they had been emptying carrier bags of bird feed around the town several times a day.

The council said the action was "in the interest of public health".

Procedures over a third Asbo being pursued by the council have been adjourned until next month.

Rat activity

The pigeon population in the county town has increased excessively over the past 10 years, according to the council.

And the volume of faeces produced by pigeons "has resulted in a slip hazard on pavements" and "excessive damage to a number of buildings, including a high number of listed buildings".

"The cause of the pigeon problem was attributed to the excessive feeding of pigeons by three individuals," said a council spokesperson.

"The feeding also seriously affected residents around where the ladies live. In one case neighbours could not use their own garden or allow their children to play because the level of bird faeces and rat activity was a risk to public health."

With previous attempts by the council to stop the women failing, the process of applying for an Asbo was started in 2010.

Bread ban

The Asbos issued by magistrates in Chippenham prevent Rogowa, of Langford Road, and Reynolds, of Bradley Road, from excessively feeding any wildlife or birds for five years.

They are also not allowed to purchase more than 3kgs (6.6lbs) of bird food or more than three loaves of bread in a transaction on any one day or throw or put down any food item outside their home or get anyone else to do it for them.

Councillor Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health, said: "Regrettably we have had to take this action in the interest of public health to protect residents and visitors to the town.

"However, we will continue to offer support to the ladies, as we recognise this is a very sensitive issue."

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