Concerns with dog fouling
Dog fouling is a major issue for many of our towns and parishes. It is the most offensive type of litter on our streets and it is consistently raised as a public concern.
Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, it's dangerous. The biggest threat to public health from dog excrement is toxocariasis. This is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The eggs of the parasite can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months.
Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits. Often the eggs are ingested when passed to the mouth by the hands, but this can also occur through contact with dogs or other inanimate objects including the wheels of toys and the soles of shoes. Infected soil samples are often found in play areas and as a result, toxocariasis most commonly affects children between 18 months and five years.
Whose responsibility is it to clear away dog fouling?
It is the responsibility of the dog(s) owner or the person in charge of the dog(s) to clear up any dog foul left by their dog. If you fail to clean up after your dog(s) and are witnessed, you could be reported to the District Council who may take formal action. Currently we will look to serve those dog owners who persistently allow their dogs to foul with a Community Protection Notice, under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This defines dog fouling as Persistent; Unreasonable; and have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of people living or working in the vicinity.
Not being unaware that the dog has fouled, or not having a suitable means of removing the faeces is not a reasonable excuse for failing to clean up after your dog(s).
What can I do about dog fouling?
Many people find dog fouling offensive and want to do something about it. There is a lot of information and free resources to be found on the Keep Britain Tidy Website, a link is given in the tab above.
Check with your Town or Parish Council if they have a dog warden – if they do, let them know where the fouling is taking place.
If they haven’t got one, let them know that the District Council will for free train and formally authorise Environment Wardens to help to patrol communities and enforce legislation. Town and Parish Council are also responsible for the purchasing and placing of dog waste and litter bins in their area.
If you know who is allowing their dog(s) to foul, have witnessed an incident and are willing to make a formal witness statement to the District Council we may be able to take formal action based on this. Please contact the Environmental Health Team with the details.