Harsher Punishment For People Who Refuse To Pick Up Dog Mess?
Dog mess is a big problem in Britain. There are many responsible owners who do pick up after their dog, but unfortunately some people think they are an exception to the rule. You shouldn’t get a dog unless you are prepared to pick up after them.
It’s horrible walking down a street or playing with your kids in a park when you are constantly worried about dog mess. Public places should be clean, not filled with dog mess, which is a health risk.
In the UK it’s estimated that there are around 6.5 to 7.4 million dogs, and collectively they produce 1,000 tonnes of excrement a day (http://kb.keepbritaintidy.org/dogs/publications/guidedog.pdf). That’s a whole lot of potential mess on our streets thanks to irresponsible dog owners.
Currently it is against the law to not pick up after your dog, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. You can get an on the spot fine of £75 and for serious cases, up to £1000. However, this is clearly not enough to put people off.
Excuses for people who Refuse To pick up dog mess
The punishment for people who don’t pick up dog mess isn’t bad enough, so lots of owners simply risk it in the hope that they won’t get fined, and they probably won’t. One of the problems is that it is very difficult for authorities to catch people in the act.
Research has found that perpetrators are more likely to be male than female, and are found across all age groups (with only slightly more being between the ages of 18 and 24). People often don’t really see that what they’re doing is wrong and come up with excuses such as ‘everyone else is doing it so why fine me’ and ‘I didn’t see my dog go to the toilet.’ People also seriously doubt that they will ever get caught.
Most councils expect dog owners to always carry dog poo bags on them. Some councils have threatened to find people £100 who get caught without a means to pick up after their dog. However, this is only in a few areas and there are questions over whether it will get enforced or not.
There are some exceptions to the rule of having to pick up after dogs, for example, registered blind people are exempt. Dog owners on certain types of public land are also exempt, for example if you are walking your dog on land used for agriculture or woodlands, rural common land and land that is predominantly marshland, moor or heath. If you are unsure, always check with your local council.
Do you think the punishment fits the crime? Should the punishment for not picking up after your dog be made more severe? If so, how will it be enforced? We would like to hear your opinions on this topic, feel free to share your comments below.