Dog walkers with no poo bags face instant fines

March 26 2019
Dog walkers with no poo bags face instant fines

PEOPLE caught walking a dog in South Gloucestershire without a poo bag can now be hit with a £100 fine.

The penalty is part of a new set of rules approved by South Gloucestershire Council's cabinet in a bid to prevent dog fouling in public spaces.

The public space protection order will see dog walkers issued with a penalty of £100 if they do not clean up after their pet, if it has defecated on public land, from March 29.

Crucially, the enforcement officer would not have to actually catch them in the act, according to a council report, and could fine walkers if they do not have "the means to clean up after their dog".

"The proposed PSPO provides powers for authorised officers to require dog walkers to show they have the means to clean up after their dog – the officer does not have to have actually witness the dog foul,” the report said. “Many other local authorities have introduced this measure as part of their controls on dog fouling.”

The fines would not apply to people who cannot clean up after their assistance dog because of their disability.

Currently, dog walkers can be fined £50 if they have left their dog’s faeces on public land in urban areas.

The new rules will apply to all public land within South Gloucestershire except forestry land.

During public consultation, 94 per cent of respondents said the council should take enforcement action against people who fail to clean up after their dogs, 93 per cent supported the use of a fine, and 89 per cent supported enforcement on common land.

The report said dog wardens received 196 complaints about dog fouling last year. The document also outlined the health risks, especially to children, who can catch an infection which can lead to blindness if they ingest roundworm eggs found in faeces.

The cabinet member for communities, Paul Hughes, approved the decision on March 21.

If adopted, they will come into effect on July 1 and stay in place for three years. The fixed penalty notice would be reduced to £75 if paid within ten days. Recipients would have six weeks to appeal it by applying to the High Court.

Mr Hughes is also set to consider introducing a £150 fine for motorists littering from their car windows.

A report recommends allowing a discounted price of £75 for early payment.

A report says a council survey conducted last year revealed some 38 per cent of South Gloucestershire residents believe litter and rubbish lying around is a “fairly big” or a “very big” issue.

Picture by Greg Hristov/Pixabay.