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, including:
- Land used for agriculture or woodlands
- Rural common land
- Land that is predominantly marshland, moor or heath
- Highways with a speed limit of 50mph 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. Councils now have more power to tackle public dog mess under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
Legal measures to prevent dog mess are contained in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act , which repeals Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, allows local councils and communities to create byelaws relating to dog mess. Visit the Law Search page for full details.
- Council can also issue dog control orders against individual dog owners for offences including allowing a dog to foul a public space.
- Councils can issue fixed penalty orders in relation to dog control orders. Where there is no local rate, the fixed penalty is £75.
- In very serious cases, magistrates can issue a maximum penalty of £1,000
ENCAMS, which runs the Keep Britain Tidy campaign publishes a useful leaflet on Dog Fouling and the Law.