Fines for dog fouling offenders could double

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

Proposals to introduce new orders that will see fines for dog fouling offenders double are set to be decided next week.

Broadland District Council's cabinet meets on Tuesday, October 23, where fresh proposals to replace existing legislation will be debated.

It would feature a public space protection order (PSPO) being imposed which would allow the council greater enforcement of dog owners who fail to pick up their pooch's poo.

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 allows a fixed penalty notice of £50 to be issued, with a maximum fine of £1,000 issued in the courts if the case is pursued for conviction.

A report published ahead of cabinet said that while the council has been using this law, loopholes for certain types of land has meant action has been prevented in some instances, and added: 'it has been felt for some time that the exemptions within it hinder the work in pursuing irresponsible dog owners'.

The new PSPO, if approved, would remove land exemptions such as marshes, roads with a speed limit of 40mph or more, moors, heathland and woodland, and allow the fixed penalty fine to be doubled from £50 to £100.

The report said: 'By implementing this PSPO the council will have greater opportunities to investigate and enforce dog fouling offences, with a greater deterrent.'

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If approved on Tuesday, a consultation will be held with Norfolk Constabulary, the police and crime commissioner, Norfolk County Council and town and parish councils.

It is not yet clear when any new rules may be introduced.

The measures come after data published in September revealed that just two fines were issued for dog fouling in the last five years, despite the council receiving 368 complaints during that time.

According to the report, one of the biggest risks of dog faeces is Toxocara Canis – a roundworm often found in the guts of dogs which if ingested can cause blindness in children and respiratory failure among other things.

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