A vegan who failed to manage a mouse infestation in her mid-terrace home, claiming that taking action would go against her ethical beliefs, has been fined by a court.
Tendring Borough Council said Margaret Manzoni, 73, of Clacton Road, St Osyth in Essex, “regarded the mice as her pets” and “said they wouldn’t go to their neighbors because she looked after them” .
The authority pursued the pensioner a second time after she failed to comply with an order issued in April.
At a hearing in Colchester Magistrates’ Court this month, Manzoni was told that while the court “respects her beliefs as an ethical vegan, others viewed mice as vermin,” the council said.
The court said the “impact of the infestation on neighbors meant inaction was not appropriate,” according to the agency.
Manzoni admitted at the Oct. 6 hearing that he had complied with charges of failing to comply with a notice under the Environmental Protection Act and a notice under the Pests Prevention Act.
She was fined £1,500, with the court awarding £2,395 in council costs and a £150 victim’s surcharge.
When setting the fine, the judges took Manzoni’s personal situation into account and emphasized that the clearance work would also have to be paid for.
The court heard the council’s environmental health team was called by neighboring residents, who were overrun by mice and causing property damage, due to the conditions at Manzoni’s mid-terrace home, the council said.
Council staff made several visits and offered help before issuing notices “directing Manzoni to stop feeding the birds, clean up the overgrown garden and request pest control,” the agency said.
“While some construction work was being carried out by the council, Manzoni continued to provide food and shelter for the mice – resulting in an overwhelming stench and forcing neighbors to move out,” a spokesman for Tendring Borough Council said.
“The Tendring District Council offered Manzoni alternative housing but she considered the mice her pets, said they would not go to their neighbors because she cared for them and refused to take any action as it was against theirs violate ‘ethical beliefs’.
“This resulted in the first prosecution since which has not changed despite continued regular visits by the environmental health team; and leaves the Council no choice but to re-indict.”
Michael Talbot, cabinet member for the environment at Tendring Borough Council, said prosecutors were “a real last resort” but “despite repeated visits, offers of help, legal notices and the previous court hearings, nothing has been done by the property owner”. .
He continued, “We respect people’s personal beliefs and how they choose to live in their homes, but when it has an adverse impact on others, we have no choice but to take the steps necessary to improve everyone’s quality of life.” to guarantee.”