Month of action to tackle problems with dog fouling as offenders warned of fines
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A crackdown on irresponsible dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets is taking place across North Somerset.
The council is running a month of action during March, with uniformed officers out and about across the district talking to dog walkers and making sure they are complying with the public space protection orders (PSPOs).
The authority has also published a guide to dog ownership in North Somerset, with important information for people who own a dog or are thinking of getting one.
Under the guidelines, dogs must be kept on a lead in Weston’s Marine Lake and Drove Road Recreation Ground.
PSPOs aim to crackdown on antisocial behaviour, littering and dog fouling across the area.
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Anyone believed to have breached a PSPO can be fined £75 which must be paid within 14 days, after which point the council can prosecute.
The orders also state anyone who is in charge of a dog must, as a minimum, keep their pets under close control at all times, carry a poo bag, bag up the mess and place it in a suitable bin and must also keep dogs out of children’s play areas.
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Cllr Peter Bryant, the authority’s executive member for the environment, said: “With this month of action we are sending a clear message to the minority of dog owners who don’t clear up after their pets.
“Such antisocial behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Dog mess blights many areas but, with the help of our homeowners reporting incidents of dog fouling, we are determined to clean up North Somerset.”
PSPOs came into force in September 2017, replacing the previous dog control orders.
They apply to every public open space in North Somerset, including places where the public have to pay to enter.
The Mercury reported in July just two dog fouling penalties had been handed out by the council since they were introduced.
Cllr Bryant said at the time the authority had ‘adopted a zero-tolerance approach to dog fouling’ but calls were made for more CCTV and dog wardens to be available.
Anyone who sees a dog in a controlled area breaching a PSPO is encouraged to report it online at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/pspodogs