Dog fouling

Report it

Your assistance is essential to protect your local environment.

If you see someone failing to pick up after their dog, report it! Call 01483 743664 or fill in an eform.

If you can, include:

  • the name and address of the person in charge of the dog
  • a description of the dog and
  • details of the date, time and place of the offence.

Any information is welcomed in confidence or with your agreement, if the matter is taken further, you may be asked to attend court to provide evidence.

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Why should I clean up after my dog?

It's an offence not to

It is an offence under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 not to clear up immediately after your dog has fouled, unless you have a reasonable excuse.

It's anti-social

Dog fouling in public areas is anti-social. It is unpleasant to look at, smells and attracts flies. The Council receives over 100 complaints about dog fouling a year.

It's dangerous

Dog waste is associated with a number of diseases including toxicarasis. Toxocara is a roundworm commonly found in dogs, and almost all puppies. Eggs from the roundworm are found in dog waste, where they can pose a health risk if eaten, particularly to small children.

The parasite can cause stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and in some cases blindness. The eggs remain active in the soil for years, long after any dog waste has weathered away, so the risk isn't always obvious.

If you are witnessed failing to clear up your dogs waste, you will be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice. Similar to a speeding ticket, you have the option to accept this Notice and pay the fixed penalty of 50 within 14 days, or alternatively face prosecution in the Magistrates' Court. The maximum penalty upon conviction is currently 1,000. Registered blind people are exempt.

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Where should I place my dog waste?

Dog waste should be placed in the dog bins located throughout the Borough. If there isn't a dog bin, remember you can place dog waste into a general waste bin, provided it is bagged or take it home with you.

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How do I clean up after my dog?

Firstly, be prepared - always carry a poop-scoop or bag. A variety of disposable dog fouling bags and scoops are available from pet shops and other retail outlets - although a carrier bag will suffice. Follow these simple guidelines:

  • place hand in plastic bag

  • pick up dog waste using plastic bag

  • turn the bag inside out so dog waste is inside and tie the bag up.

Ensure the dog waste is removed in its entirety and that bags are tied up before disposal. Where bins are available, place the bag inside the bin.

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What if there are no dog bins in the area?

The Act applies even in areas where bins are not provided so you must always take your waste home with you for disposal if you cannot find a bin.

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I'm walking a dog for a friend - do I still have to clean up?

Yes - whoever is walking the dog is held responsible.

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Where must I clean up after my dog?

It is now an offence not to clear up immediately after your dog on all land, both public and private to which the public has access. These areas include:

  • highways (including private roads)

  • footways

  • open spaces

  • playing fields / public parks

  • verges

  • play areas

  • housing amenity greens

  • canal towpaths and

  • public footpaths, bridleways and adjoining verges.

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Are there any areas where I don't have to clean up after my dog?

Some areas are exempt, these include:

  • road and adjoining land with a speed limit of more than 40mph

  • woodland or agricultural land

  • marshland, moor or heath and

  • rural common land.

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Can we have some no fouling signs?

There are numerous signs around the Borough. Where possible, we will accommodate requests for additional ones.

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Can we have more dog waste bins?

The Council has installed more dog waste bins, located in spots chosen with the help of local residents.

The Council is under no obligation to provide dog waste bins. However, bins are provided on Council owned areas of land including parks, recreation grounds, amenity greens and countryside areas to encourage people to clean up after their dogs.

The Council cannot erect bins on privately owned land.

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What do I do if the dog waste bin is full?

Should a dog bin be full please either place the bag in another nearby waste bin or take the waste home with you and put it in your general household waste bin.

In addition, to ensure that the full dog waste bin is emptied as soon as possible, it would be very helpful if you would please inform either the Council's Environmental Health Service or the contractor responsible for emptying the dog bins, SERCO HELPLINE 01483 775422.