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Questions about dog fouling

What is dog fouling?

Dog fouling is the offence of being in charge of a dog and failing to clean up after it defecates in a public place. This includes dog waste left on streets, beaches, parks, country paths and recreation areas.

What are the fines for dog fouling?

If witnessed and reported, offenders face a fixed penalty fine of £100 for failing to clean up and pick up after your dog. (This is reduced to £75 if paid within 14 days.) You may also incur an additional £75 for littering if you leave them behind on your walk. (This is reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.) If fines are not paid then you may be taken to court and if found guilty of an offence, the maximum penalty on conviction is: £1,000 for dog fouling, and £2,500 for littering. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is also an offence to allow large quantities of dog waste to accumulate in your garden.

Why is dog fouling a problem?

Worms and diseases from dog waste can infect people, livestock and wildlife and even pollute your local water supplies. If not cleared up immediately, dog waste can infect soil and sand with a variety of worms that can be passed to humans, especially children, and cause illness - even blindness. Dog waste left on grazing land can also pass worms and parasites to sheep and cattle causing them to miscarry. As well affecting our health, dog waste also has a detrimental effect on local water tables, contaminating rivers, ponds and drinking water. Not only is it unpleasant to find dog waste in the sea, but the harmful bacteria in it can make those swimming and paddling sick as it affects the quality and safety of the bathing water.

How can I help reduce dog fouling?

Please clean up after your dog and dispose of the dog waste bag responsibly by putting it in a bin. You can also encourage other dog owners to clean up after their dogs by carrying an extra bag to offer to them. Finally, if you witness any extensive dog fouling then please report it in confidence to our dog wardens.

How can I report dog fouling?

All you need to do is provide the date, time and place of the offence, a description of the owner and the dog, and, if you know it, the name and address of the dog owner, or their car registration number. Then either email:, or call 01243 785166 with this information and we'll help you.