Did you know that there are around 1000 tonnes of waste poo deposited on the pavements in the UK by an estimated 9 million dogs that are kept as pets? Those of us growing up in the 70s and 80s may recall when there were piles of white dog poo littering the pavements, but it’s also quite surprising that the law requiring you to pick up dog excrement only dates back to 1996 in the UK. Since the new laws introduced under the Dog Act of 1996, if your dog fouls in a public place, you must clean up his mess.
Consequences and Fines
It may not carry a prison sentence, or as high as fine as some other offences, but you can be sure of an on the spot fine of often £40 up to around £80. If you refuse to pay the fine and are prosecuted, if found guilty for not poop scooping, you may expect a court appearance with a maximum fine of £1000! Dog owners who are registered as blind are exempt from these penalties.
Where you need to scoop poop
It’s not an offence to leave your dog’s mess behind in rural areas, such as on the moors, in woodlands, marshland and on farmlands. The law applies to public places such as footpaths, parks, pavements and roads, unless your dog fouls on a roadway where there is a speed limit of more than 50mph. (this is probably due to the safety risk to drivers as they whizz past you, stooping down in the middle of the road)
Did you know?
- Dog excrement is classed as an environmental pollutant – Just 30g of dog waste contains more than 23 million micro-organisms of bacteria
- Viruses and disease such as Coccidia and E.coli can be spread in dog poop, with the chance of passing it onto humans, and more than likely to children playing in prevailing poo areas such as woods and parks
- Dog waste can contain worms and millions of eggs. Some of them, like roundworm (toxocara canis) can cause infections or disease in humans. In humans, this can lead to blindness, asthma, throat infections and stomach upsets. Each year, over 100 cases of blindness in children are reported resulting from roundworm eggs in dog faeces.
Dispose of the poop in a safe and wise manner
Always carry dog poop bags with you. There are generally dog poo bins, strategically placed near to park areas and walkways for you to place your bagged poo parcel, but in the absence of one of these bins, double bag the excrement and place in a regular waste bin. If no bins can be found in the area, its best to take the parcel home with you to dispose of it there.
If you are aware of a dog fouling issue in your local area, the best thing you can do is report it to your local authority. Be a responsible dog owner and always clean up after your dog!