Plea for dog walkers to pick up mess

A sign asks dog owners to pick up after their pets. Picture: Chris Bishop

A sign asks dog owners to pick up after their pets. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

People in a Norfolk town are pleading for dog walkers to pick up their pets' mess after seeing an increase in fouling in the area during lockdown.

Residents from Downham Market expressed their concern on social media with people commenting that areas such as the Howdale, Bexwell Road, Bridle Lane and the aerodrome were particularly bad.

Anne Law, who issued the plea on Facebook, said it is an ongoing issue which seems to be "worse at the moment," after seeing a number of dog poo bags on Friday, February 19.

She added: "But then I don't know if it's because we are walking more locally."

Her Facebook post said: "The last five times my daughter has gone out with her two-year-old twins, she has come home with either dog poo on the children's clothes, wellies, pushchair, or the last time on a cuddly toy that one of them dropped."


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Responding to her post, one person said: "It's the same all over Downham. Absolutely disgusting. The river bank is bad, down the path past the water works is particularly bad."

Stuart Dark, cabinet member for environmental services and public protection at West Norfolk Council, said: “We are not seeing a particular increase in dog fouling in the area, with the number of reports for the first part of 2021 very similar to the number of reports for the same period last year.

Stuart Dark, Conservative chairman of the county council's children's services committee. Pic: Norf

Stuart Dark - cabinet member for environmental services and public protection at West Norfolk Council. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

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"It is, however, fair to say that it is always worse in the winter and when there is snow."

The council has recently appointed an environmental enforcement officer who has started "active patrols" of dog fouling hot spot areas.

Mr Dark said: "If we catch someone failing to clear up after their dog it’s an £80 fixed penalty or, if it goes to court, up to £1,000 on conviction.

"We are in the process of installing new, higher impact signage, which we hope will remind people of their responsibilities.

“We would urge dog owners to do the responsible thing and clear up after their animals, disposing of the dog poo bags in the provided dog poo bins, or taking it home and putting it in their black bin."

People can report dog fouling to the council at west-norfolk.gov.uk/dogfouling

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