Dog owners warned over festive fouling

Message to dog owners. Clean it Up slogan on the pavement in Gorleston.Picture: James Bass

Message to dog owners. Clean it Up slogan on the pavement in Gorleston.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Dog owners using the winter dark to avoid cleaning up after their pets have been warned to not break the law over the Christmas period.

With the shortest day of the year approaching, there is normally a national increase in dog-fouling - but anyone caught failing to clear up after their canine friend risks a fine of up to £1,000 in the courts.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's environmental rangers request that residents report any incidents of dog-fouling they witness so they can investigate.

The rangers have one of Norfolk's best records for enforcement, bringing 34 successful prosecutions for dog-fouling in the last five years.

Cllr Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said: "While the festive period is a time of goodwill for most, some unfortunately see it as an opportunity to break the law to the detriment of the environment and their communities.

"The council's environmental rangers work proactively to tackle those who allow their dogs to foul, investigating and prosecuting where there is enough evidence."

The warning comes as the council continues to consult on whether to continue for another three years a legal order which helps to promote responsible dog control at publicly-accessible land across the borough.

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In April 2017, the council created a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for the borough which brought long-standing dog control measures under the latest legislation and also updated the rules to reflect the expectations and aspirations of communities.

The main controls under the PSPO pertain to dog-fouling, leads which can be requested or required depending on location, as well as bans in certain places and at particular times of the year.

There is a long-standing dog ban during the tourist season on the busiest stretches of beach at Great Yarmouth between the piers and Gorleston from Harbour's Mouth to The Ravine.

The council is holding a public consultation until January 3 to ask individuals, landowners, parish council and other organisations whether they would like to continue the existing order for another three years.

No additional dog control measures are being proposed as part of the consultation.