Fines for Dog Walkers Not Carrying Poop Bags
A number of councils now fine or are proposing to fine dog walkers who are caught walking their dogs (or anyone else's dog) without carrying a poop bag or poop scoop. Anyone walking a dog in specified areas who fail to show that they are able to pick up their dog could face a £100 fine. Those failing to pay the £100 fine within 7 days face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Anyone walking a dog in specified areas would be expected to have a 'means to pick up' dog waste unless they had a 'reasonable excuse'. People who are blind, deaf or have mobility issues that mean they cannot carry "everyday objects" would be exempt from the rules.
Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko points out that responsible owners may be penalised unfairly if they are approached to prove their 'means to pick up' after they have already used the bags to clean up their dog's waste.
"Furthermore, just because someone is in possession of a poo bag or scoop does not mean they will actually use it, so the irresponsible minority could quite easily get around this type of rule."
Some councils such as Manchester are also considering a ban on people walking more than four dogs at one time on any public land.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime And Policing Act empowers councils to create Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to tackle problems linked to dogs, litter, alcohol or any other local scourge.
The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 states that a person is committing an offence if their dog defecates and they fail to remove the faeces. But under the new plans officers are able to take action before a dog has even defecated.
PSPOs don't just deal with dog fouling. Please see New Dog Walking Legislation for information about how PSPOs could go as far as to affect when and where you even walk your dog.
Have your say
Here you can find your Public Space Protection Order toolkit for England and Wales, and a Dog Control Order version for Northern Ireland.
Included is a template response letter for you to send to your local authority in response to a PSPO/DCO consultation to encourage the local authority to adopt a dog friendly approach when implementing an order.
The kit also includes awareness raising posters and flyers for you to hand out to dog friendly businesses and vet surgeries, plus an image that you can use on your social media profiles to help spread the word online.
By Jenny Prevel
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