In Britain, you can be fined 1000 pounds for putting up posters

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

LONDON - A pet owner in Britain has been warned by an environmental agency that he could be fined after he nailed missing cat posters in his neighbourhood trees.

Mike Harding’s seven-year-old cat Wookie got lost and he appealed to the public to help in finding his beloved pet.

The driving instructor from Bedford put up the cat’s pictures on A4-sized sheets and posted them on trees, lamp-posts and parking metres.

But instead of being contacted with good news, the 44-year-old Harding was called by an environmental officer who told him he could be prosecuted if the posters were not removed within 48 hours, The Independent reported.

Harding said most of the posters were held in place with cables but when he ran out of them, he used tacks on four trees.

He was told he could be fined up to 1,000 pounds if he did not remove the posters.

On hearing the news, he rushed around the streets tearing them down and finally finished at 3 a.m. Christmas Eve, just six hours before the deadline he had been given.

“I’m a law-abiding citizen. Yet I’m being threatened with a 1,000-pound fine for looking for my cat. You would think the council would have some compassion,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Bedford Borough Council said: “Our Environmental Enforcement Team discovered over 20 of Mr.Harding’s ‘lost cat’ posters.”

“Some of these were nailed, with the use of one-inch nails, to eight trees along the embankment. Nailing a tree pierces its bark and can allow fungal spores etc to break down the tree’s defences, which can lead on to secondary infections.”

“As well as damaging trees, fly-posting is also illegal,” she said.

She, however, added that because Harding had removed all the posters, the council was now satisfied the matter had been resolved.

Wookie, the cat, who went missing in November, has not yet been found.

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