Plan for tougher dog fouling laws

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The Independent Online
Environment ministers are seeking to force dog owners to clear up dog mess under tougher bye-laws for parks and highways, writes Colin Brown.

The Tidy Britain group and others have proposed the replacement of local 'poop scoop' bye-laws with national legislation to make it an offence for any person to allow a dog to foul any area to which the public have access.

The advisory group to the Department of Environment is considering the plan along with another suggestion that dog mess could be redefined as litter, according to a Parliamentary reply by Robert Atkins, the Minister of State for Environment.

That could open owners to a fine of pounds 2,500 instead of the present pounds 500. Privately, ministers have made it clear that they will not act on the suggestion. The Department wants the public to regard dog fouling as a serious environmental hazard, but ministers believe huge fines would be politically unacceptable.