A WOMAN was slapped with a £75 fine — for giving a bit of her pasty to one of Bolton town centre’s huge flock of pigeons.

The offence, which counts as dropping litter, was spotted by an eagle-eyed Bolton Council enforcement officer — ironically as the woman was putting her food wrapper into a bin on Newport Street.

The council defended the move as the birds are vermin — but is now in a flap about the incident and has performed a u-turn over the fine.

Gavin Moynihan, who works for the AA and witnessed the incident, said: “I was really annoyed by what happened. I could not believe it when she was putting rubbish in the bin and then just dropped a bit for the birds.

“A man came over and told her what she was doing was against some act and gave her a fine. I was really shocked, I am sure a warning would have got the point across. The council has gone mad.”

A council spokesman said feeding pigeons was also an encouragement for rats, and added that the vermin were associated with a range of diseases.

The council has run a number of campaigns over the last few years to try to encourage people to take pride in the town.

The spokesman added: “It is not our intention to target individuals unnecessarily and issue fines where education is more appropriate.

“Feeding pigeons in the town centre is discouraged as the birds are vermin and seen as a nuisance to many.

“We will be writing to the individual with the intention of cancelling the fixed penalty notice, but would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that dropping litter is an offence and that we would advise people not to encourage pigeons by feeding them.”

However, Mark Schofield, who works at the Virgin Media stand in Newport Street, said the council were right to fine any sort of littering.

The 51-year-old said: “If people are fined for dropping a cigarette end they should be fined for dropping any sort of litter.

“We cannot attract people to the town centre when there is rubbish about. I am here every day and I see people throwing litter all the time.

“It is right that the council should fine people. It costs a lot to keep the streets clean. If people go somewhere and there is rubbish around they won’t come back.”