Above image: Emerson Peterson.
South Gloucestershire council has decided to fine dog walkers who don’t have dog poo bags with them while walking their pets.
The decision comes after the council released a report proposing a ‘public space protection order’ (PSPO) that would allow environment officers to fine dog walkers £100 if they cannot show they have the means to clean up after their dogs.
The penalty is part of a plan to tackle dog fouling in the region which would give enforcement officers the ability to hand out £100 fines to those who don’t have dog waste bags on them while walking.
The enforcement officer would not have to actually see a dog defecate to enforce a fine, according to the council report.
This would be a change from the current regulation in which walkers face a £50 fine if caught obviously responsible for not picking up dog litter.
The report said: “The council wishes to encourage responsible dog ownership, and have robust enforcement powers against the minority of dog walkers who do not clear up after their dogs.
“Dog fouling is a concern, not just because it is unpleasant, but because it can be a health risk.”
Whilst most councils only enforce £50-£80 fines and do not enforce carrying poo bags, South Gloucestershire council is one of the small majority to adopt the new approach.
The proposed rule change is scheduled to come into effect on 1 July 1.