Dogs are an integral part of any rural community, and North Marston has many sensible dog owners.

So it is disappointing that the Parish Council has received a number of complaints recently about a seeming increase in dog fouling in the village. Clearly a small minority of dog owners are not acting responsibly.

Dog fouling – the facts

According to recent surveys the waste left behind by dogs is the single biggest environmental concern that people have about the local area. The overwhelming majority of people find dog waste unacceptable. With an estimated 4.5 million dog owners allowing their pets to foul and around 1000 tonnes of dog waste produced daily in the UK, there is a clear need to raise awareness of the need to ‘pick up the problem’.

Dog waste is not only an extremely unpleasant and unwelcome commodity; it is also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria (Campylobacter and Salmonella) and other forms of infection.

Every dog owner should be aware that it is their legal requirement to clean up the waste left behind by their dog. The most straightforward means of controlling dog waste is to train the dog to go at home. Training is best accomplished in young dogs but effective training can be given to a dog of any age. You can teach an old dog new tricks! As a responsible dog owner you should always be in sight and in control of your dog – being unaware of your dog’s fouling is not a defence against prosecution.

The Law

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Order 2003 applies to all land to which the public has access. It allows the local authority to prosecute irresponsible dog owners if they do not clear up after their dog, after allowing it to foul in a designated area. Owners can be fined up to £1000 if they fail to comply. AVDC Dog Warden 03444-828338

Designated areas include:

  • all carriageways with a speed limit of 40mph less, and adjoining footpaths and verges
  • all parks, recreation grounds, sports grounds/pitches and open spaces owned, maintained and/or controlled by the District, Town or Parish Councils
  • open grassed areas located adjacent to areas of residential housing
  • public Rights of Way
  • canal towpaths and reservoir footpaths
  • church yards and cemeteries
  • allotments
  • public car parks and pedestrianised areas
  • plus a number of specially designated areas across the Vale.