£100 fines to continue after surge in dog fouling in Cannock Chase area

An order banning dogs from entering children's play areas in part of Staffordshire is being extended after a surge in fouling complaints during the pandemic.

Owners can be given on-the-spot fines of £100 if they fail to clean up after their dogs under the Dog Control Order covering Cannock Chase which is being extended for three years.

Dogs are also banned from fenced children’s play areas and no more than six canines may be walked by one person at any time in a public place.

Other requirements that can lead to a maximum fine of £1,000 if not adhered to include making sure dogs on leads when on roads, carriageways or footpath verges within three metres of a highway or if ordered to do so by a police officer or other “authorised officer”.

The restrictions do not apply to people in control of assistance dogs.

A report to a Cannock Chase Council cabinet meeting revealed there were 104 dog fouling complaints in the district during 2020/21 – up from 79 the previous year.

Councillor Justin Johnson, portfolio leader for environment and climate change, said: “This order is due to expire on July 26 and has worked so well I would like to extend it for another three years. It is being extended to include fenced multi-use games areas and fenced tennis courts.

“Since it was set up in July 2018 complaints relating to stray dogs have reduced (from 108 in 2018/19 to 28 in 2020/21). However dog fouling complaints, although they were declining year on year, have jumped up a lot in the past year.

“We put this down to the fact during lockdown owners were exercising dogs in their own place, rather than sticking them in the car and travelling to a rural area. The fact they are in their own place means there is more chance of them being spotted and complaints being made.”.

Fellow cabinet members welcomed the extension of the dog control order – and spoke out against owners who fail to clean up their dogs’ mess.

Councillor Mike Sutherland said: “It can have an impact on everyone being able to enjoy our local spaces.”

Councillor Phil Hewitt said: “Dog faeces are dangerous to children. It’s easy to put it in a bag and carry it back home or to a bin.”

Councillor Bryan Jones said; “Most owners are very responsible in picking up dog faeces. But there is a minority of people that perhaps are picking up the faeces in a bag but for some inexplicable reason decide to throw it into trees on Cannock Chase.

“We need to ensure people are responsible and put it in an appropriate receptacle.”

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