Operation ‘poop swoop’ ushers in new dog rules

Pick up or pay up is the message from Ribble Valley Borough Council

Pick up or pay up is the message from Ribble Valley Borough Council

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A zero tolerance dog fouling day has been declared by Ribble Valley Borough Council as it launches new rules to tackle dog mess.

Ribble Valley Borough Council as it launches new rules to tackle dog mess.

Tomorrow, Friday, July 25th, dog enforcement officers and the police will be out and about in the borough nabbing irresponsible residents who let their pets poop in public and fail to clean up. The culprits will receive a £50 fixed penalty notice and a ticking off.

The “poop swoop” is part of the council’s new Pick Up or Pay Up” campaign. New 
orders requiring the borough’s dog owners to clean up after their pets and keep them 
under control in public come into force on August 1st. They will see pet owners face fixed penalty notices of £80 or fines of up to £1,000 in a magistrates’ court for anti-social pet behaviour.

Five orders have been 
approved by the council’s community services committee following the ongoing problem of dog mess in public places, particularly on playing fields. The orders state that:

l Owners must remove dog faeces from public land, including footpaths and fields.

l They must keep their dogs on leads when instructed to do so by a dog enforcement officer.

l Dogs are prohibited from sports pitches, playing fields and children’s playgrounds.

l Dogs must be kept on a lead in Clitheroe Cemetery.

l No more than four dogs can be walked by a single person in designated public areas at any one time.

Signs spelling out the new rules will be installed at relevant sites over the coming weeks.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of environmental health, James Russell, said: “Complaints about dog issues are the second highest 
received by the council each year and residents are demanding action on the issue.

“Most dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets, but there is an irresponsible minority who do not and the new orders will give us greater powers to deal with them.

“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse and the message is simple: The days of allowing dogs to foul in public are over, so pick up or pay up.

“Our officers will be out and about with the police on July 25th making sure the message is understood loud and clear by pet owners who are flouting the law. Targeted patrols will take place from August 1st at sites affected by the new orders.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council receives more than 200 complaints each year about dog fouling and spends £30,000 on disposing of it.

Dog faeces takes two months to break down and can give humans a number of infections, including toxocariasis, which can cause breathing difficulties, red and painful eyes or clouded vision, particularly in young people.

To report dog fouling or for further information, contact Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.

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