Zero tolerance on dog fouling

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is to look at a pilot scheme with the area’s 168 town and parish councils to combat dog fouling.

This is one of the proposals that will be put before the environment and regeneration overview and scrutiny sub-committee on 5 June.

In their report to the sub-committee, officers are recommending that a programme of linking with town and parish councils could lead to a more effective response to complaints about dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership.

The proposed scheme would further enhance community involvement and make good use of local information in addition to the existing partnership working between the dog warden service, public protection officers, police community support officers and others.

The report also looks at the issue raised earlier this year of whether parking wardens could be given additional legal powers to issue £75 fixed penalty notices for dog fouling.

The report outlines the legal roles allowable under legislation for parking enforcement officers. As this is so different from the legislation for enforcement against dog fouling, the council is seeking guidance from DEFRA before deciding whether or not this is a lawful and appropriate step to take.

Currently, considerable work is underway by the council to tackle dog fouling by a small minority, including 1,000 patrols a year. An additional 14 special patrols are scheduled for next month in the early morning and late evening in dog fouling hotspots across all the East Riding.

The patrols are effective in causing a change in behaviour with dog owners keen to be seen to be picking up the mess. Surveys of dog owners indicate 86 per cent clear up after their dogs and disapprove of those who do not. The work is aimed at the remaining 14 per cent.

In addition, the council is holding a public consultation about updating the dog control orders that have been in place since 2009. The consultation, which runs to the end of June, was put into effect due to requests from parish and town councils, schools and those who run playing fields, play areas and public spaces to update the current order.

In a typical year, with its partners, the council’s dog warden service deals with:

- 500 requests for service regarding dog fouling;

- 600 barking dog complaints

- 150 dangerous dog complaints

- 500 missing dogs and calls for assistance

- 1000 stray dogs, collected and returned

- 500 other enquiries and requests for service

- 1,000+ patrols and support for local campaigns

- educational visits to schools and colleges as part of a programme of promoting responsible dog ownership.

The report confirms the council’s approach is one of collaboration and cooperation, and that it is not considering the introduction of zero tolerance on parking and dog fouling.