Dog owners who let their pets foul the borough’s streets and parks and don’t clear it up are behaving as anti-socially as fly-tippers and graffiti vandals, according to Lambeth Council.
Clearing up dog mess and running anti-dog fouling operations in Lambeth is estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
The health risks that dog faeces pose was highlighted last month when two-year-old Amiee Langdon needed hospital treatment and nearly lost the sight in her left eye after falling in dog mess.
As part of the council’s BIG Difference campaign, the council is urging dog owners to make sure they always clean up after their pet by putting dog mess in the bin.
Lambeth is also joining forces this month with the Keep Britain Tidy group to tackle irresponsible dog owners, supporting their “Bag it and Bin it” appeal. Council staff will be handing out poop scoop bags and issuing fines to anyone caught letting their dog foul.
Councillor. Lorna Campbell, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The majority of dog owners are responsible, but the minority who don’t clear up after their animals should in my view be put in the same category as graffiti vandals and fly-tippers. Dog fouling is a crime that costs tax payers thousands of pounds a year in clean up costs, damages our environment and puts people’s health at risk.
“Our “BIG Difference” campaign is encouraging everyone to think about how their own behaviour can impact on our environment. If you’re a dog owner that means making sure you always clear up after your dog, and for other residents it means helping the council tackle the problem reporting problems to us so we can do something about it.”
Lambeth runs regular dog-fouling operations where officers advise the public on responsible dog ownership and issue fixed penalty notices to those people observed letting their dog foul and not cleaning it up.
Dog fouling is an environmental crime. The law allows the council’s Environmental Crime Enforcement Officers to give anyone seen not clearing up after their dog an on-the-spot fine called a fixed penalty notice (FPN). The FPN is for £50, but if you are prosecuted in court for dog fouling you could receive a maximum fine of £1,000.
The council’s BIG Difference enviro-crime campaign is encouraging residents to take pride in Lambeth and help the council tackle graffiti, fly-tipping, dog fouling and litter by reporting it wherever they see it. For more information see the BIG Difference enviro-crime site.