Cleaning Up After Your Dog
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. 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 poop 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.
£100 Fine For Dog Owners Without Poo Bags
The government have put a new law into place that’s aimed at tackling the dog mess problem in Britain. There has been a lot of public outrage lately regarding the dog mess problem and anger at irresponsible owners who fail to pick up after their dogs. This new law will be introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. It will be policed by dog wardens and local officials.
Owners caught without means of picking up after their dog will be given a £100 on the spot fine. These fines need to be paid within seven days or offenders will face prosecution in court and a fine of up to £1000. Dog mess is very hazardous to young children and is damaging to the environment. Leaving dog mess lying on pathways is irresponsible and selfish.
The first area to enforce these new rules is Daventry District Council in Northamptonshire. This area serves a community of around 80,000 and the council gets approximately 120 complaints a year about dog waste. It is predicted that other areas in the country will eventually follow suit.
At the moment, you can already be fined if you don’t pick up after your dog in certain areas. However, changes in the law will mean that you can be fined just for not having Dog Poop Bags on you. This will hopefully mean that less people will get caught short without a means to pick up after their dog and will think before they leave the house unarmed. However, it is unlikely to change the habits of the majority of people.
The Dogs Trust feel that this is not the best use of time and money. Laura Vallance, a spokesperson from the Dogs Trust commented ‘We'd rather see time and resources spent on tackling irresponsible dog owners who are behaving in an anti-social way.'The Kennel Club feel that owners should first be educated about these changes before they are put into place, so that they can take appropriate action. The secretary of the Kennel Club, Caroline Kisko said: 'We would definitely support an education campaign before the new rule is implemented so that dog owners are aware of the plans and can ensure they have an excess supply of dog-waste bags with them.'
Dog Poo Debate: stick it and flick it or bag it?
If you thought it was as simple as 'scoop it, bag it, bin it, there’s a whole new dog poo debate in town ready for all to shake a stick at.
According to new advice from the Forestry Commission, bagging up your pooch’s poo will no longer cut it in some parts of the countryside and St Albans Conservative MP/proud Jack Russell owner, Anne Main is at the forefront of the campaign for owners to take a more natural approach.
The issue, Mrs Main states, isn’t with owners taking plastic to tackle their dogs natural urges, it’s more what they choose to do with it in the absence of a designated bin. As she states “Like many people, I like to walk my dog out in the countryside, parks and in woodland, but over the last few years I’ve noticed an increasing number of Dog Poop Bags hanging off bushes, trees and railings – and it’s disgusting,”
It’s easy to see where the argument gathers support, particularly where the pollution of the environment comes into concern, however it appears as though guidelines need to be stipulated in terms of what to actually do in this bin-less situation, to make sure all owners are pulling together in the same direction. Indeed, the £100 on the spot fine introduced in 2015 was due to owners not bagging their pets poop and so a balance must be found.
And Mrs Main agrees “We have to work with human nature,” she said. “People are not going to carry a dollop of dog poo on a three hour walk – and you are not going to find a bin in Ashdown Forest.” Further to environmental issues, there are factors to take into consideration such as animal and child interference through their own natural inquisitiveness, which could lead to hazardous outcomes, not to mention the inconvenience caused for cyclists, whose wheels will likely tear through the discarded bags.
As the Forestry Commission have dared to put out there, proud pooch parents should adopt a ‘stick and flick’ approach to their pet’s waste. Essentially, you find some poo, you grab a stick, and then you flick it into the undergrowth. They’ve even gone one step further by way of creating a punchy poem to encourage owners to adopt this method. It includes the lines “If your dog should make a mess, there really is no need to stress. Find a stick, pick a spot, flick into the bushes so it can rot. Who doesn’t enjoy a rhyme?
Mrs Main even went as far as to recite the poem, in all of its catchy glory to conclude her stance in the hour long debate, as well as adding that she would be putting forward a ‘Pragmatic Poo Strategy to ensure families can still enjoy their woodland walks, leaving no room for sitting on the fence. What do you guys think? We’re intrigued to find out...
Stop Leaving Dog Poo Bags In Trees
Dog’s really are man’s best friend, dog poo however? Not so much. There’s nothing worse than picking up your dog's business and then finding that there isn’t a bin in sight for you to… um… dispose of it.
This is where there are two types of people: those who begrudgingly carry the bag, and those who decide to leave it on the floor or hang the bag in a tree. These people often plan on retrieving the litter on the way home, but forget, while others think that the use of a bag negates the issue. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Although putting your dog’s poo in a bag can get rid of the smell and immediate danger of somebody standing in it, it actually has a worse long-term impact than just leaving it on the ground all together. When the excrement is left in a bag it’s unable to decompose into the ground, meaning that it just stays there in the bag for as long as it takes for the bag to decompose around it – which everybody knows is a very, very long time.
As for hanging poop bags in trees, this tends to be done by people who plan on coming back for them. However sometimes people forget, and so you’re left with quite possibly the worst tree ornaments possible.
Even though leaving dog poo bags on the floor or in trees is worse for the environment than leaving it on the ground, it is extremely dangerous to just leave it also. Who hasn’t heard the horror stories of children going blind because they have come into contact with the bacteria in dog faeces.
Manchester Council are heeding these stories and are introducing £100 on the spot fines which can be issued to those found to be walking their dogs without a minimum of two poo bags on their person.
These fines can increase to £1,000 and even turn into a court appearance if they are left unpaid seven days after they are issued. This new ruling has caused some distress though, as many dog owners are worried, they may be falsely charged if they have already used, and disposed of, they poo bags.
Leaving your dog’s poo on the ground, in a bag or otherwise, and leaving it hanging on a tree like a Christmas decoration are all equally as bad as each other; either for the environment or residents. Depending on where you live, not picking up after your dog could also be harmful to your wallet! So next time you're out with your furry friend, make sure you take plenty of poo bags, hold your breath and walk to the nearest bin – your dog, the environment and your wallet will thank you!
Oh, and you could always stock up on loads of poo bags via our pet supplies site. Click here to buy poo bags online. And if you can’t face picking it up by hand, you could always invest in a handiscoop.
What about DNA testing>
Dog mess is a huge problem, despite there being clear laws and fines for those who get caught, people still don’t bother picking up after their dogs. Councils spend millions of pounds clearing up dog poo and it’s very hazardous to children. Leaving dog poo lying around is extremely selfish and thoughtless. It’s a pretty difficult thing to enforce, because people have to literally be caught in the act and reported. However, this could be about to change.
Irresponsible dog owners beware, soon you won’t be able to get away with not picking up your dog’s poop. Even if you choose your moment wisely and get your dog to poo when nobody's looking, you will still be leaving evidence behind.
Some time in the near future dog poo could be tested for DNA to name and shame those who don’t bother to clean up after their dog. In fact, some councils are already looking at trialling this scheme. Barking and Dagenham will be the first council in the UK to use this forensic testing to catch irresponsible owners. The council leader, Darren Rodwell explains, ‘Dog mess not only spoils our streets - it’s also a health hazard and especially to young children. It’s why we are getting tough on dog muck to make a cleaner, healthier and better borough.’ A pilot scheme is expected to run next year and the council are currently discussing how they will enforce these tests and fines.
The idea behind the DNA testing is to take a DNA test of the dog’s faeces and this can then be traced back to the offending dog and their owner. However, it does require dogs to have their DNA collected in the first place via a painless cheek swab. The DNA tests are said to be 99.9% accurate.
Dog owners in Dagenham could be given £80 fines if DNA of their dog’s poop is found and linked to them. Perhaps this might be enough to get people to pick up after their dogs. Knowing that they can be identified via their dog’s DNA may deter dog owners from leaving dog mess everywhere. It’s estimated that there are around 9 million pet dogs in the UK, and that results in huge amounts of dog faeces. The small minority of dog owners that don’t pick up are spoiling things for everyone else.
What do you think? Is this a step too far or do you think it will finally help to solve the dog mess problem? Do you think this scheme could run nationwide? Feel free to share your opinions below. You might also want to stock up on some Dog Poo Bags.