A bow-tie wearing duck that has raised thousands of pounds for charity has been banned – because he doesn’t have a permit.
The bird – called Star – wears a dickie bow and waddles alongside his owner Barrie Hayman raising money for sick youngsters.
Star and Barrie regularly visit businesses collecting cash from the public – already raising £6,500 for a children’s hospice.
But Barrie has now been told by several councils that his sidekick could be deemed ”irritating” and needs a permit.
Barrie, of Bideford, Devon, now has to apply 28 days in advance for a single day’s permit – meaning he would only be allowed to collect on one day each month.
He said: ”If I was putting into my own pocket, I could understand it, but everything goes to the sick children.
”If a permit covered me for a year and I was able to visit a different town each day, that would be fine, but on this basis I don’t think I can carry on.”
Barrie and Star collect on average £200 a day by going into businesses around North and Mid Devon.
Star dons a bow tie and Barrie carries a bucket and together the pair have raised £6,500 for Children’s Hospice South West in Fremington, Devon.
But council officials say to be fair to all charities, they must limit how often fundraisers are allowed to collect cash.
They also say they have to ensure charity collectors are limited in their efforts to make sure they do not become ”irritating” to the public.
But local businesses have slammed the decision and are calling for Star to be allowed to collect money as often as possible.
Sally Shephard, of Blazeys Deli in Bideford, said: “If other charities have complained, they must be jealous that Barrie has got off his backside to do something to help.
”He entertains so many people. They crowd around him, and he does an amazing job.
”We all feel very upset because it’s such an amazing charity. Everyone’s in uproar.”
Barrie says the enforcement was started by North Devon District Council, who told him certain charities had complained.
He is now facing the same instructions from Torridge and Mid Devon district councils.
A North Devon District Council spokesman said: ”All he’s got to do is apply for a street collection permit, which is a fairly simple process.
”Our policy is to allow one charity collection per day per parish, so that the streets aren’t full of people collecting for charity, which is irritating to the public.
”We need to give all charities equal opportunities to collect.”
Alana Marie Smith, director of fundraising for the hospice, said Star’s work had been ‘wonderful’.
She said: ”Barrie and Star are tremendous in their fundraising efforts and in their wonderful support of the sick children.”