What are the dog fouling laws in the UK and what can you do if you see someone not picking up their animal’s waste? All you need to know | The Sun

A QUARTER of UK households have a pet dog, producing a staggering 350,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Councils are on a mission to bid to keep pavements clean, but here's the low-down on dog-fouling rules— and what to do if your neighbours aren't great at picking up after their canine friends.

How much can you be fined for not picking up your dog’s poo?

It is illegal to leave dog poo in a public area, as not only is it unpleasant, it can also be dangerous.

Fines for uncollected dog mess vary between constituencies, but dog owners could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100 on the spot if they have not cleared up their dog's mess.

In rare cases, dog walkers can even be given a fine for failing to produce a dog poo bag when walking their pets in public.

While the charges can vary from council to council, refusing to pay up can land you with a day in court, and a £1000 fine.

Polling revealed over a quarter of dog owners asked haven't bothered to clean up after their pet, and over a third of this number admitted this is something they frequently failed to do.

Can you get fined if the dog doesn't belong to you? Can dogs poo in your own garden?

Despite common belief, it's not possible to get out of paying a fine if the dog doesn't belong to you— you would still be liable for any fines if you fail to clean up after them.

According to the Dog Fouling Act of 2016, responsibility lies with "the person in charge of the dog" at the time of the incident.

One woman was fined £1,000 for failing to adequately remove dog poo from her garden, although such cases are very rare.

Other rules for dog owners include:

  • Failing to keep a dog on a lead when necessary, or directed to do so by an authorised officer
  • Allowing their dog to enter an area in which dogs are banned

Are there any exceptions to the rules?

Dog waste can be dangerous and harmful to the environment, so it's not surprising that there are very few exceptions to UK dog fouling rules.

People who are registered blind, disabled, or otherwise rely on dogs are generally exempt from fines.

It is also unlikely that owners of working dogs like sheepdogs or police dogs are fined if they poop on duty.

It's important to remember that rules apply in all public places.

However, you can avoid getting a fine if you leave dog mess in areas used for agriculture or woodland.

The law also doesn’t apply to rural common land, marshland, or motorways.

What can you do to rid your local area of dog poo?

Most councils advise reporting breaches of the dog fouling law directly to them.

Reports show that 55 councils in the UK received over 300 complaints in 2021, and found that Durham dog owners received the most fines.

Some assembly boards are considering some very drastic measures when it comes to reducing the environmental problem.

One Tory Councillor in Southend even suggested a DNA test to identify which dog owners are guilty of leaving mess around town.

The tests cost over £100 each, which would then be reclaimed from the guilty owner of the pooch in question.

One small hiccup is that dog owners would have to agree for their dogs to be swabbed to be added to the database.

In 2016, one council proposed using e-fit-style images of dogs to name and shame owners, but the plan doesn't seem to have caught on.

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