River Wissey Lovell Fuller

How to be a Responsible Dog Owner

May 2005

One of our local Environmental Health Officers explains the need to be a responsible dog owner

Dogs are considered man's best friend but on occasions, they can be the source of complaints to the Environmental Protection Service.

Complaints about dog related issues vary considerably from barking, fouling, and straying and lost dogs. The majority of dog owners behave responsibly and ensure their pets do not cause annoyance or a nuisance to members of the public. However, some owners do not and allow their pets to foul paths and pavements or simply turn their dogs out to roam, free from any form of control.

For this article, I would like to discuss the issue of dog fouling.

Dog faeces are not only unsightly and unpleasant, but may cause health problems and spread disease. We would hope that as a responsible dog owner you would clean up after your dog and place it in either a dog waste bin or your domestic refuse bin. The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 makes it compulsory to clean up after a dog where the speed limit it 40 mph or less. The Act also covers the footways of such highways, footpaths, cycle tracks and all grass verges adjacent to the above. In addition, areas such as playing fields etc may have been designated as clean up areas. We can confirm that the playing area accessed through Buckenham Drive is a designated clean up area.

If a dog defecates at anytime on designated land and the person in charge of the dog at the time fails to clean up the faeces, that person shall be guilty of an offence. The maximum fine for not cleaning up after your dog is Level 3 on the standard scale, which at present is £1000.

Cleaning up after your dog would create a pleasant environment to live in for others as well as yourselves. In a society where recycling is important, it would be prudent to consider re-using plastic carrier bags etc to clean up after your dog.

Should you wish to discuss any dog related issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Dog Warden on 01553 616610.

Kevin Moore

Senior Environmental Protection Officer

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