You Can Now Be Fined £100 For Walking Your Dog Without Poo Bags
Dogs, we love you, but we don't love cleaning up after you. If you agree that scooping poop is the most dreaded part of having a four-legged friend then we have bad news. In an effort to clean up our streets, councils across the country have escalated the penalties on dog mess and owners who aren't prepped to clean it up.
The changes mean that you no longer need to be caught in the act of not picking up dog poo, but in parts of the country anyone walking a dog risks a fine if they're caught with their furry friend without enough poo bags to hand (and it makes sense, because you wouldn't pick it up without one).
For example, fur parents in Lincolnshire can be asked to prove their intention to pick up dog poo by producing some form of bag.
Anyone without a bag faces a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 if a case goes to court under rules that quietly came into force in September.
Cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, councillor Julie Leigh, told LincolnshireLive: "Bassetlaw residents are fed up of the amount of dog poo that is left on our streets and in our open spaces.
"The message is clear, pick up after your dog or face being fined or prosecuted."
In Canterbury, you need to carry at least two bags because sometimes nature calls more than once.
A council spokesperson told LocalGov.co.uk: "As part of our approach to try and reduce dog fouling and encourage responsible dog ownership, we will be requiring people to demonstrate they have the means to clear up after their pet."
"As a rule of thumb, we'd expect people to be carrying at least two bags that can be used to dispose of dog excrement. If they do not have these, they could receive a fixed penalty notice."
In Manchester a draft order planned to ban walking more than four dogs at once on public land as well as threatening fines of up to £1,000 for not showing a bag.
Councils can set their own rules by location and not all take the dog mess situation as seriously as others.
But be warned: the least you can expect if you're caught not cleaning up the crap is a £50 fine.
And no - you can't escape a fine by saying the dog doesn't belong to you because it's the person "in charge of the dog" at the time that's responsible according to the Dog Fouling Act of 2016.
So just grab a bag. Keep it in your pocket and it'll all be fine and we'll all have less swear-inducing incidents followed by having to clean your shoe with a stick.
If your dog leaves their mess in areas used for agriculture or woodland you're generally not liable because the law also doesn't apply on rural common land, marshland and motorways.
People with disabilities that restrict their sight or mobility are also exempt.
For the details of the bylaws in your area check your local council website.
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