A consultation has been launched over proposals to introduce new powers to target irresponsible dog walkers.
The key proposal is to introduce fines for dog walkers who cannot show they have means to clean up after their pet.
If introduced, it would mean council enforcement officers could ask dog owners to produce the means by which they intend to clean up after their pet, with those unable to risking a £100 fine and potentially prosecution.
A 10-week consultation started on Monday, asking people for their views on that proposal. It is also asking people if they think dogs should be kept on leads at Daventry Country Park.
The council currently enforces three dog control orders that make it an offence for people to fail to pick up after their dog, allow their dog into a designated children’s play area, or to fail to put their dog on a lead when directed to do so by a council officer.
The new rules would form Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO), which were brought in under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and it is understood DDC is the first council in the country to consider introducing a PSPO to tackle dog fouling.
The proposals follow other initiatives to tackle the problem of dog fouling, including a paint spraying initiative, under which volunteers spray brightly-coloured on dog mess in a bid to shock irresponsible owners.
Earlier this year the council also launched joined the ‘We’re Watching You’ campaign, featuring glow-in-the-dark posters to target night-time offenders.
Cllr Mike Warren, DDC’s health and housing porfolio holder, said: “We are always looking at innovative ways to tackle dog fouling, which our residents repeatedly tell us is among their major concerns in the community.
“Our existing approach has had a deterrent effect but despite regular patrols of known hot spots it is difficult to catch offenders in the act. If agreed, these proposals would give us greater powers to act against the minority of dog owners who do not pick up after their pets.
“It is really important to us to hear the views of residents before we make a final decision so I would urge people to have their say during the consultation period.”
To comment on the proposals visit www.daventrydc.gov.uk/consultation or phone 01327 871100 to request a paper copy. The deadline for comments is Monday August 10.