• Are there any exemptions to the new PSPO? (such as guide dogs)

The PSPO includes exemptions for people who cannot reasonably be expected to pick up dog mess – including those people who have a guide dog.

Exemptions outlined in the PSPO include people who are registered as partially sighted or blind, those who are registered as sight impaired, and those with a disability such that he or she cannot be expected to remove dog faeces.

  • Does the Council provide dog bags?

It is not the Council’s responsibility to provide dog bags to residents.

However, the Council does carry limited stocks of bags at specific locations across the County Borough as a gesture to encourage a responsible approach to picking up dog mess.

Dog bags are not available to be ordered online.

Please note - food waste bags are not to be used to pick up dog mess.

  • Will authorised officers be conducting searches?

If an authorised officer asks a person in control of a dog whether they have means for the disposal of dog faeces (eg bags) and that person is unable or unwilling to demonstrate that they do so, then it is reasonable for the authorised officer to have reason to believe that an offence has been committed and issue an FPN to that person, as they have failed to comply with the requirement under the PSPO without reasonable excuse.

We do not have any powers to search individuals.

  • Why aren’t the Council designating areas in parks specifically for dogs?

The Council consulted with the public on the new PSPO with residents earlier in 2017 and the outcome of the consultation concluded that the PSPO was suitable to target irresponsible owners, whilst offering support to responsible dog owners in offering them information on where they can or can’t walk their dog.

  • Will dog bins be emptied more frequently?

Dog bins are emptied on a weekly basis across the County Borough, and more frequently in areas where dog walking is more prevalent.

  • Why is the focus on dogs rather than cats or horses?

Dog waste is not only unsightly and messy, it can have serious health implications for children and adults alike, including toxocariasis. There currently isn’t any legislation on horse manure. Whilst the Council recognises that cat waste can be toxic, enforcing ruling on cat owners would be impossible as cat owners do not accompany cats on walks.

  • Will the new rules apply to areas that are not Council-owned?

Yes, the PSPO will be enforced in all public places around the County Borough, although some restrictions and prohibitions apply to specific places such as the exclusion of dogs from sports pitches and playgrounds.

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