New rules could be introduced across Lichfield and Burntwood to make sure dog owners always have poop bags with them.
Councillors are set to discuss proposals to bring in a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) – which is designed to tackle anti-social behaviour – at a meeting next week.
If the proposals were to get the green light, dog owners could be targeted if they:
- Allow their dogs to enter a fenced off children’s play area.
- Don’t have “an appropriate receptacle” to pick up dog poo.
A report from Cllr Angela Lax, cabinet member for legal and regulatory services, said one previous PSPO forcing to pick up their pet’s mess would also be reviewed.
“The council’s environmental crime strategy was approved at the regulatory and licensing committee in July 2018.
“The minutes of that meeting highlight the suggestion by a Members Task Group that a new PSPO is consulted upon to require dog walkers to carry an appropriate receptacle – commonly a dog bag – to pick up dog faeces.
“Whilst consideration must be given to the need for any order, dog fouling continues to be a problem throughout the UK and our district is no exception, in spite of significant reductions in the last few years.
“It is therefore considered appropriate to continue with an order which requires those in charge of dogs to pick up their dog’s faeces.
“The proposed dog bag related PSPO is in place at a number of other authorities. Dog fouling meets the criteria for a PSPO and it naturally follows that it is reasonable for any person in charge of a dog to have the means to pick up, should their dog foul.”Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council
But despite the recommendation from Cllr Lax’s colleagues that the carrying of poop bags could become compulsory, Cllr Lax warns any such move would have implications for the local authority.
“It is worth pointing out that any PSPO which is created must be enforced and the council should consider whether the necessary resources exist to enforce any PSPO which is set up.
“Failure to enforce can be counterproductive with members of the public clearly ignoring requirements and thus weaken any case for taking legal action on those who are caught not complying.”Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council
The proposals will be discussed at a meeting of Lichfield District Council’s regulatory and licensing committee on 25th February.