Extra rules over dog fouling welcomed

December 19 2018
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Thornbury’s dog owners could be literally stopped in their tracks in future and asked to prove they are able to clean up after their dog.

Council officers would carry out the role under new enforcement powers which are being considered by South Gloucestershire.  

The council is consulting on whether to adopt a public spaces protection order, or PSPO, which would also see fines of up to £1,000 for dog owners that let their pets foul on commons, woodland, farmland and heaths.  Currently enforcement measures don’t apply to these areas. 

The PSBO would apply to all land in the area ‘open to the air’, which the public has access to, except for land owned by the Forestry Commission. Landowners will be able to exclude their land if they wish. 

A council spokesperson said: “Dog walkers will be expected to show they have bags or other means of clearing up, even if the dog hasn’t defecated at that time.” 

“If they cannot do this, and they are not exempt from the PSPO, they will have committed an offence.”

“Breach of the PSPO is an offence, which can result in fine of up to £1,000 if convicted.”

The council may issue a fine instead of pursuing prosecution. This would be set at the maximum, £100, or reduced to £75 for prompt payment. 

Thornbury’s Mayor, Shirley Holloway, said: “The Town Council will be considering its response to the consultation at its meeting on 7 January. We are conscious of the problems that can be caused when dog owners and walkers do not pick up dog mess especially when young children are likely to be present.”

South Gloucestershire Council is going to be putting up glow in the dark posters to remind dog owners that on dark winter nights “we’re watching you”. This initiative is part of Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign. In areas where it’s already in place, there’s been a reduction in dog fouling of up to 77 per cent. 

The PSPO will not apply to people with assistance dogs where the disability affects the person’s ability to clean up after their dog. 

The council’s consultation runs until January 11.