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Dog fouling

In Torridge, it is an offence for a person in charge of a dog not to clean up immediately if the dog has fouled on public land.

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A cleaner neighbourhood - we all want it, and we can all help to achieve it. No-one likes dogs' mess; it's a nuisance, an eyesore and poses a risk to humans, particularly children who are more likely to come into contact with it and are susceptible to the dangers of Toxicara canis, the roundworm larvae. This parasite, if swallowed, can cause a range of symptoms, from aches and pains to bronchial conditions. In rare cases it can result in blindness. Dog faeces also carry disease to other dogs.

The majority of dog owners are responsible and do clean up after their dogs when necessary or train them 'to go at home'. There are, however, those who still choose to be inconsiderate to others

Dogs should be kept under control at all times, on a lead when near a public highway and never allowed to stray. Stray dogs may cause road accidents and problems for other dog owners. It is a legal requirement for all dogs older than 8 weeks to be microchipped and wear a collar with the owner's name and contact details.

In response to complaints, regular patrols are undertaken in an effort to catch those responsible.  Help us to help you - if you witness an offence please report it. Information can be given confidentially.

Report dog fouling

The easiest way to avoid prosecution or a Fixed Penalty Notice is to be a responsible dog owner and not commit the offence

So please, if you have dog ...

  • Always carry bags when you take your dog out so you can clean up when it 'goes to the toilet'
  • Be considerate, do not exercise your dog in a children's play area, a school field or sports ground, or ornamental gardens
  • If there is no poop scoop bin available, please take the waste home with you to dispose of
  • Worm your dog at regular intervals throughout the year - ask your vet for advice
  • Never allow your dog to wander unsupervised in a public place

Council staff are authorised to issue fixed penalty notices if they witness a dog fouling offence and regular patrols are carried out in an effort to catch those responsible.

If we have evidence that a dog owner has not cleaned up any mess left by his or her dog, we can issue a fixed penalty notice.  We can also prosecute and a court can issue a fine of up to £1,000.

Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)

This Public Spaces Protection Order 2022 - dogs (PDF) [1MB] gives us control in relation to:

  • A person responsible for any dog must pick up any faeces left by the dog at all times
  • A person responsible for any dog must keep it on a lead in certain areas.
  • A person responsible for any dog must put the dog on a lead when directed to do so by an Authorised Officer of the council, this applies throughout Torridge;
  • A person responsible for any dog must not enter land from which dogs are excluded.

The penalty in relation to any offence under this PSPO is, on summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1,000)

A person may be offered the chance to discharge any liability to conviction for any offence under this PSPO by payment of a fixed penalty - see our Fees & charges.

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid, you may be prosecuted for the offence.

Dog bin information

View dog bin information from our Waste and Recycling department, including a map of dog bin locations and a form to report full/damaged bins.

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