Borough controls on dog fouling extended for another three years

Dog fouling <i>(Image: newsquest)</i>
Dog fouling (Image: newsquest)

A rural East Lancashire borough is to renew its tough controls on dogs and their fouling of public spaces.

Ribble Valley Council has taken the decision after 97 per cent of residents who responded to a consultation on the issue back the continuation of the crackdown.

The authority introduced a three-year public spaces protection order, or PSPO, in 2017 to tackle the scourge of dog poop in public and renewed it in 2020.

Now it will remain in force for a further three years.

The PSPO makes it an offence to:

  • fail to pick up your dog poop in a public place;

  • not be in possession of pet poop bags;

  • let your dog off its lead in Clitheroe Cemetery;

  • allow your dog to enter a playground or sports pitch;

  • refuse to put your dog on a lead if asked by a dog warden; and

  • be in charge of more than four dogs at once.

Anyone breaching the order faces a £100 fixed penalty notice or day in court and fine of up to £1,000.

The order does not apply to people with sight or hearing loss or requiring a trained assistance dog.

Members of Ribble Valley Council’s health and housing committee heard that despite the PSPO helping to reduce dog-fouling complaints from 125 to 68 a year it remained one of the council’s most complained about issues.

Andrew Dent, the council’s head of environmental health, said: “The main purpose of the PSPO is to strike a balance between the needs of people using sports grounds for recreation and leisure and those, including dog walkers, who use them as public open space.

“The PSPO allows us to make people’s lives safer and healthier, and protect and enhance the environmental quality of the borough by putting controls on dogs, particularly fouling.

“Our consultation showed clear support, including from many dog owners, for the continuation of the order.”

Stuart Hirst, chairman of the health and housing committee, said: “Public open spaces play an important role in the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves in public spaces and this means restricting where dogs can go and when they should be kept on leads.”