Consultation launched over new fine for dog owners without dog poo bags

One of the schemes used by DDC highlight the problem of dog mess.
One of the schemes used by DDC highlight the problem of dog mess.

Controversial changes to dog laws in the Daventry district are set to go out to public consultation following a meeting.

Daventry District Council’s (DDC) strategy group discussed the changes which would see dog owners in the area being the first in the UK to face fines for failing to have the means to clean up after their pet.

Enforced by dog wardens, it would force dog walkers to show they were carrying poop bags or containers or risk being given a fixed penalty notice of £100. Failure to pay could see the case end up in court and people could face up to a £1,000 fine.

The strategy group met on Thursday last week and agreed to consult the public on the plans.

However, the plans were not universally welcomed by the councillors. Conservative councillor Chris Over said: “This is a real problem across the town. There is a huge amount of dog mess in Foundry Court in the town centre.”

Labour’s Cllr Wendy Randall said: “There are a lot of people who pick up after their dogs.

“This plan is flawed because in all of the time I have been out and about I have never seen a dog warden. How are we going to catch someone if the dog warden is not out?”

Dog mess has been a problem in both the town, estates and villages across the Daventry district.

DDC also believes the problem is likely to be under-reported, or with parish councils fielding many of the complaints.

A previous scheme carried out by DDC saw cans of pink spray handed to parishes to spray dog mess to literally highlight the problem.

One of the other measures set to be introduced is to make it an offence to not keep a dog on a lead at Daventry Country Park.

Conservative Cllr Colin Poole said: “I am not sure whether dogs on leads should be just restricted to Daventry Country Park. Why is it not being introduced for all public open space?”

DDC officers reassured the councillors that the plans were only going out to consultation and that many of the issues raised could be raised by the public.

No further details of the plans for the consultation were revealed at the meeting, but it will be held after the local and general elections on Thursday, May 7.