Council gets creative in new crackdown on dog fouling

Posted on: 11 May 2018

North Devon Council is using biodegradable spray paint to highlight dog mess in a new approach to cut down dog fouling.

The council’s Environmental Protection team has been exploring this new method in a crack-down on dirty dog owners in Braunton, alongside a range of other activities, including letter drops, increased signage, high-profile patrols, CCTV and covert surveillance.

By spray painting around dog mess in an area of the village known to locals as ‘Dog Poo Lane’, the council has already seen significant results. Monitoring the frequency of fouling in the most recent seven-day period, the team found that having sprayed all existing mess, no new incidents were found, where previously it was as high as five or six a day. Spraying around the dog mess makes the problem more visible, encouraging those who are responsible to pick up after their pet.

Prevention and education continues in the Saunton Park area of Braunton and the council’s Neighbourhood Officers are working with local schools and community groups to tackle the problem. Similar work will be done on other problem locations, which have already been identified.

Neighbourhood Officer Alan Kyle says: “The results of our spraying are very encouraging. Seeing the paint reassures people that something is being done, puts those responsible on notice and helps monitor if our interventions are working. It’s not all about catching people – our education work and raising awareness is just as important and it is the direct support of the public that makes the biggest difference.”

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “We’ll be using this method in other dog poo ‘hot-spots’ over the coming months, so if you wonder what the fluorescent circles are, you know we’re in the area to crack down on dog fouling. Unfortunately we can’t be everywhere at once and it’s very difficult to catch people in the act, which is why we rely on information from the public to put a stop to the inconsiderate few who give dog owners a bad name. Our message is ‘call it out, call it in and clear it up’ – if you see someone failing to pick up their dog’s mess, call them up on it, report it to us and if all else fails, clear it up so no one steps in it.”

Dog fouling is the latest issue being addressed as part of the council’s Clear Messages campaign, which aims to raise awareness of environmental issues such as littering, fly-tipping and responsible dog ownership. Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fixed penalty notice of £80 with a maximum fine of £1000.

Report dog fouling online, call 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.

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Posted in: Environment