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There has been recent comment on this website yet again about the matter of dog owners not picking up their dog poo or picking it up in bags and throwing/hanging it into a hedge or ditch. We seek here to clarify what the law states and the penalties that dog owners can face
Fines and criminal offences
In England and Wales, local authorities can introduce public spaces protection orders, making it an offence not to clean up dog mess in certain areas. Under those orders, a person who doesn't clean up after their dog may face an on-the-spot fine of up to £80. These fines are known as fixed penalty notices. If a person refuses to pay they can be taken to the local Magistrates Court for the dog fouling offence and fined up to £1,000.
The system of controlling dog fouling under public spaces protection orders was introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It replaces the old system of dog control orders under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
Dog mess is an eyesore and a health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog messes in a public place. Registered blind people are not required to clean up after their guide dogs. There is also exemption for dog owners on some kinds of public land in England and Wales, including:
Land used for agriculture or woodlands
Rural common land
Land that is predominantly marshland, moor or heath
Highways with a speed limit of 50 mph or more
Most local councils require dog owners to carry a poop scoop and disposable bag whenever they take their dogs out to a public place. Some councils offer free scoops: ask your council's animal warden unit.
Look out for bins marked as dog bins to dispose of your dog bag. If you cannot find a dog bin, then double wrap the dog bag and place it in a normal litter bin.
If your street is littered with dog mess, you can ask your local council to clean it.