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A 73-year-old woman from Essex was fined for refusing to take care of a mice infestation in her mid-terrace home because she said it went against her ethical beliefs.

The £1,500 fine was issued to Margaret Manzoni of Clacton Road in St Osyth by the Tendring District Council for refusing to comply with a previous order made in April.

When the infestation first began, neighbours complained to council staff who made several visits and ordered Manzoni to "stop feeding birds, clear the overgrown garden, and call in pest control."

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The environmental health team made regular visits to the terrace homes but no noticed no changes had been made.

According to the court, Manzoni “considered the mice her pets” and claimed "they would not go to her neighbours because she looked after them."

An image of a mouse being provided food and shelter in the mid-terrace home PA

Despite the request, Manzoni continued to provide food and shelter to the mice.

Apparently the infestation got so bad neighbours were forced to leave their homes due to property damage and an "overpowering smell" according to a spokesperson for the Tendering District Council.

At the hearing earlier this month, the court said while they "respected [Manzoni's] beliefs as an ethical vegan" but "saw mice as vermin."

The 73-year-old admitted she failed to comply with a notice under the Environmental Protection Act and a notice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act.

She was fined £1,500, with the court awarding the council costs of £2,395 and imposing a victim surcharge of £150.

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