Dog walkers who aren’t carrying poo bags face £100 fine, warns council

Dog owners who do not carry poo bags with them while out walking their pet face a £100 fine, a council warns.

It’s under new rules from Rushcliffe Borough Council in Nottinghamshire, with fixed penalties issued to offenders.

Fines will be issued to offenders with the cost reduced if they pay up early.

Wardens will also be ensuring dogs are kept on a lead in specified areas within Rushcliffe Country Park.

The controversial policy was adopted after being approved by politicians on Thursday – with a borough-wide Dog Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) now in place.

The council says an on the spot Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 may be issued, or a fine upon conviction of up to £1,000 may be applied if owners allow their dog to foul in a public place and they fail to clean it up straight away.

It urges owners to always take a bag with them to clear up their dog’s mess.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety Cllr Rob Inglis said: “We’re aware the vast majority of dog owners take their responsibilities seriously and these new powers are there to tackle the minority who flout the rules including those who routinely don’t carry bags to clear up.

“We are keen to protect residents from any of the issues dog fouling raises and the overwhelming support from stakeholders to last year’s consultations shows we have a strong mandate to educate further and take action.

“The emphasis will be on engaging and educating dog owners and only applying fines where necessary.

“Our message to all dog owners is to always carry bags to ensure you’re ready to do the right thing and always pick up after your pet.”

Similar rules have previously been applied in other parts of the country including Somerset, Devon, Lancashire and Derbyshire.

It’s drawn a mixed response on social media, with one person reacting to Rushcliffe Borough Council’s announcement: “Does anybody really think this is going to get policed by said pcsos ? They’re very thin on the ground as it is ! Like they’re really going to have time to hide in bushes checking if dog walkers have poo bags ??”

Others, however, praised the move.

One added: “Having just finished a run which resulted in dog poo all over my shoes and socks, I applaud this move. Sadly a small minority of dog owners spoil things for everyone else.”

A second echoed: “As a dog owner, seems perfectly fair. Although I do think the area could do with more poo bins as well.”

A third said: “Well done RBC you lead the way locally with trees, biodiversity and green issues.”

Asked how they would police such a rule, the council said on Facebook : “Our contracts team will look to engage and educate dog owners in the first instance, aware the vast majority of dog owners take their responsibilities seriously but administer fines as necessary.

“The same team are responsible for results that have seen a clamp down on littering and fly-tipping in the Borough in the last 18 months that have seen over 1,500 fixed penalty notices issued.”