Feeding a troublesome flock of pigeons roosting in a shopping precinct could see people facing fines or court action, a council has warned.
People caught feeding the birds in Daventry, Northamptonshire, could be dealt with under littering laws, according to the District Council, after it received complaints from shop owners.
About two dozen pigeons have been roosting on ledges above the shops around Bowen Square and Foundry Place, in some cases defecating on unsuspecting shoppers below and flying into nearby food stores, according to shopkeepers.
One store manager, who declined to be named, said:
He contacted Daventry District Council and an officer was sent to investigate the problem.
The council's environmental improvement team has now issued a warning about feeding the birds, saying they are a health hazard.
It said in a statement: "Street pigeons could spread infections and feeding them will cause numbers to grow.
"Apart from looking unsightly, spores from dried pigeon droppings can spread diseases similar to pneumonia and influenza if they are inhaled as dust and carried on the wind."
Daniel Cribbin, the council's environment portfolio holder, said: