Derbyshire couple slapped with anti-social behaviour warning after their PEACOCKS broke out and left poo on people's gardens
A Derbyshire couple were slapped with an anti-social behaviour warning after their PEACOCKS left poo on people's gardens and disturbed residents with loud mating calls.
Becky Mullan-Feroze and Dave Markham, both 55, could be fined up to £2,500 if they fail to stop their birds causing havoc around the picturesque village where they live.
Their two peacocks and two peahens are allowed to roam freely on their farm in Marehay, but broke out twice last month.
The couple, who have run the farm for the past 15 years, received a letter from Amber Valley Borough Council following "numerous complaints" by fed-up villagers.
The letter, from the council's Environmental Health practitioner Ian Tranter and dated May 29, states the animals were having a “detrimental effect” on residents.
Mr Tranter wrote: “I am writing to inform you that I have received numerous complaints about peafowl escaping from your land and causing damage to and defecating on several nearby residential properties.”
The letter added that the birds were also “causing noise disturbance to the residents."
Mr Tranter stated: “I am therefore satisfied that this could be considered to be having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality and that your conduct (which includes a ‘failure to act’) is unreasonable.”
The ‘Written Warning’ stated that the couple faced a £100 fixed penalty notice or even a £2,500 fine, if they failed to control their peacocks in future.
Becky, who has two children, said she had previously received two calls about her birds being loose and quickly recovered them.
She said: "I received a call on May 24 from the council saying that one of my peahens was nesting in someone’s garden.
"I picked it up and had taken the eggs it had left behind.
"I then got another call two days later to say the cock was causing a problem at an address next to the farm, I again collected it as quickly as I could.
"We then received this ASBO letter on May 29.
"It's bonkers, absolutely appalling and ridiculous getting the letter.
"The peafowl are placid birds and not aggressive.
"They have been encouraged into the urban lifestyle by people feeding them.
"They've lived for four years as wild birds, as they should, it's such a shame.
"We have converted a barn and made it into an aviary, but if they don't settle and are not happy we'll try to find a new home for them.
"I have taken responsibility from stopping them from leaving the farm.
"The council have said they have received multiple complaints.
"I think it is very extreme to say the birds have had a detrimental effect on the residents.
"We don't want to offend anybody.
"We have only got two calls from the council before receiving this letter.
"The over efficiency the council has shown is not right.
"We are very disappointed in the council and that we have upset a lot of people and will upset more who love the birds.
"They've had four years of being liberated and now they might have to be kept in an enclosure.
"They like to wander outside during breeding season.
"Before receiving this letter the council could've visited the farm to see for themselves but they haven't.
"We've been told by the council to try and catch them when they wander away, which we do straight away.
"Our farm has 15 acres and you can't throw a net over every inch of it, it's not reasonable.
"The only way to stop them wandering is to keep them penned up which is not great for them.
"Just like any other bird they make noise during mating season but outside of that they don't really wander or make much noise.
"The birds are our priority and not offending our neighbours is our priority.
"It would be really good to come to some compromise with the neighbours that would maybe see the birds keep away for the mating season and then after be let back out."
A council spokesperson said: "As this potentially could be an ongoing case, the council is not in a position to say anything further at this time."