July 2017

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Published on 26 July 2017

Have your say on proposals to tackle dog mess

People in Teignbridge are invited to have their say on proposals to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) across the district to help deal with dog mess problems.

A consultation launches today asking people to put forward their views on a proposed PSPO which, if approved, will help make the enforcement process simpler and give council staff the power to issue on-the-spot fines to irresponsible dog owners.

While there are laws covering dog fouling and irresponsible dog ownership, it is patchy and in some places Teignbridge has no control over enforcement. This inconsistency makes enforcement much harder in those particular places where people tell us it is a problem.

Currently in Teignbridge, byelaws which apply to some council-owned parks, green spaces and beaches cannot be enforced using fixed penalty notices – offences must be prosecuted through the courts, a procedure which is rarely used and can be costly.

This is frustrating for Teignbridge, the many responsible dog owners, residents and visitors, and adds up in terms of council time and taxpayers’ money to deal with it.

Observations by the Teignbridge teams, ranging from Community Wardens, Resorts staff and Countryside Rangers, who meet and speak with the public every day, also highlight concerns about the effectiveness of some existing controls.

Teignbridge’s Council Strategy ‘Clean Scene’ project, promised to review the approach to how dog fouling is dealt with and we are doing just that.
The PSPO updates the existing byelaws for beaches, some parks and public open spaces into offences which can be enforced using fixed penalty notices.

Inconsiderate dog owners would still be targeted through awareness and enforcement.

The order also looks at including:

  • the requirement for dog walkers to carry a bag or other means of cleaning up after their dog has fouled at all times
  • the prohibition of dogs from entering defined dog ban areas (eg. children’s play park excluding assistance dogs)
  • the requirement for dogs to be kept on leads next to roads
  • for authorised officers to have the power to immediately request dogs are placed on a lead
  • to restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by a single individual, on and off the lead

Cllr Sylvia Russell, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing which includes the portfolio for Environmental Health, said:

“We play an important role in promoting and encouraging responsible dog ownership in Teignbridge. Fortunately, many people pick up after their pet and help us to keep areas free from dog mess but sadly there are still some who don’t.

"Dog mess is unsightly, unhygienic and can have unpleasant health effects particularly for small children. It costs public money to clear up so in effect, our many law-abiding citizens end up paying for something that the few tend to ignore.

“This is an important opportunity to improve controls based on what people have been telling us. We want to know if you agree with what we are proposing, so please get involved.”

Teignbridge wants to hear your views on the changes proposed. You can do this by completing the online survey at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/dogsurvey
The survey ends on Friday 29 September.