Dog owners who refuse to pick up their pet’s mess will now face a £100 fine.
Cheshire East Council has beefed up its powers to tackle anti-social dog owners by introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which means officers can issue fines of up to £100 to dog owners who fail to pick up after their dog or refuse to put it on a lead when requested.
The new PSPO has been introduced following a public consultation, during which 90per cent of respondents supported its creation.
Dog owners could previously be given on-the-spot fines of between £50 and £80 if they failed to clear up their dog mess on streets, parks and play areas.
However the new bylaw means dog fouling is illegal in all public places, including woodland, countryside parks and publicly accessible land. Officers will be authorised to order dangerous dogs to be put on a lead, or issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 for those who don’t pick up after their dog.
Tracey Firth, of Blandford Drive, Macclesfield, says she walks around 15 dogs a day through her Paws-itivity dog walking business but ensures she picks up after all the dogs. She said: “Dog mess is vile and I’m all for fining anyone who fails to pick up after their dog.
“I’ve noticed a lot at Riverside Park when I walk my dogs and something needs to be done. I tried to get a group together to go for a couple of hours to pick up poo but only a couple of volunteers came forward.
“We need all dog owners to take responsibility for their pets, including those who pick up poo and hang it to a tree. It’s disgusting.”
Coun Neil Puttick, who represents the south ward on Macclesfield Town Council, welcomed the move and said the council has voted to bring in public dispensers for dog mess bags. He said: “There’s a problem with dog fouling in Macclesfield and we need to address that in any way we can.”
Cheshire East Council undertook the consultation as it has a statutory duty to take action against individuals who fail to clear up after their dogs on land which is open to the public. Dog mess is a hazard to health – particularly to young children. Roundworm eggs found in dog mess (toxocara canis) can be picked up by children.
Coun Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communication, said: “This consultation got a tremendous response. It became apparent, from very early on in the process, that our proposals really struck a chord – and residents overwhelmingly supported plans to beef up enforcement and promote responsible dog ownership. It is clear from the responses that this is an important issue for residents.”