Why should I clean up after my dog?
In response to public concern and to reflect the trend amongst many responsible dog owners, the Council has now made it 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.
Dog fouling in public areas is anti-social. 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.
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.
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.
I'm walking a dog for a friend - do I still have to clean up?
Yes - whoever is walking the dog is held responsible.
Where must I clean up after my dog?
It is now the responsibility to clear up immediately after your dog on all land, both public and private to which the public has access. These areas include:
- Open spaces
- Playing fields / public parks
- Play areas
- Housing amenity greens
- Public footpaths, bridleways and adjoining verges
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.
Can we have more dog waste bins?
The Council is under no obligation to provide dog waste bins. However, bins are provided on many 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.
If you would like more information on dog bins or dog fouling please visit our Dog Bins page, where you can also report a problem with a dog bin online.