Machines containing dog mess bags will be installed on playing fields and open spaces to encourage owners to clean up after their pets, under plans unveiled today.
Councillors backing the move say it will mean dog owners have ‘no excuse’ for failing to clear up after their animals.
The machines will distribute plastic bags and would be installed in dog fouling hotspots in South Staffordshire. The district council is considering the proposals.
South Staffordshire Council’s public health boss Councillor Roger Lees said: “Over the past year we have taken the issue of dog fouling very seriously. The majority of dog owners out there are responsible and clean up after thier pets, but there are a few who are irresponsible.
“It is an issue that causes a great deal of public concern and we have been looking at a variety of ways we can tackle it.
“Over the past year we have stepped up dog fouling patrols, and targeted particular hotspots. We have also distributed leaflets to householders, and this year we prosecuted someone for allowing their dog to foul. The problem is to prosecute we have to actually catch them in the act.”
“The bag machines is one of the options we are considering at the moment. We have to look at both the benefits and any problems that they could cause. We also have to look at whether it is a cost-effective measure for dealing with the problem.”
Councillor Lees said the plans were in the early stages and it was not yet clear whether the bags would be funded by the district council or paid for by the pet owners.
Bilbrook ward councillor Val Chapman said she would fully support the idea of bag machines in hotspot areas.
She said: “I think these machines or receptacles would be a very good idea.
“It would mean people will have no excuse for not clearing up after their pets.”