1,000 dog poo complaints result in just four fines – but dog-owners could soon be fined if they don’t carry a bag

PUBLISHED: 13:02 18 February 2017

Just four people have been fined for dog fouling in three years, despite 1,000 complaints to the council.

Just four people have been fined for dog fouling in three years, despite 1,000 complaints to the council.

Archant

North Somerset Council received close to 1,000 complaints about dog mess in just three years – but only four people were fined for not picking up their pet’s poo.

The council says it is difficult to catch people in the act, but plans are afoot which will mean any dog-owner who cannot produce a plastic bag to prove they will pick up their dog’s mess can be fined.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016 the authority received a staggering 976 complaints about dog fouling. But, in 2014 just one person received a fine for the offence, in 2015 two dog-owners were handed a £75 fine and last year one person was fined £75.

Weston saw the highest number of complaints about dog mess littering the streets, but there are few villages in the district which do not not feature on the list of complaints.

The council’s environmental health service manager, Dee Mawn, said: “The majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dogs, but unfortunately a minority still think it is acceptable not to pick up.

The council now wants to know if people think dog-walkers who do not carry a bag should be fined.The council now wants to know if people think dog-walkers who do not carry a bag should be fined.

“There is no excuse for not picking up just because there is no dog litter bin to hand. It should be bagged and taken home to be placed in the general waste bin.

“Catching people in the act of not picking up is difficult. The council intends to introduce new measures to help tackle this antisocial behaviour and is seeking everyone’s views on a new Public Space Protection Order that will see people fined for not producing a suitable means to pick up when asked to do so.

“We hope it will at least encourage those responsible for a dog to think carefully about their actions and always carry bags with them.

“We are also seeking views about introducing a new order that, if an officer sees someone not paying due attention to their dog and its actions, they will be required to put it on a lead and failure to do so will also incur a fine.”

You can comment on the proposal via www.n-somerset.gov.uk/pspo

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