Dog Fouling

If your dog fouls in a public area it is your responsibility to ensure the mess is picked up and properly disposed of.

Report dog fouling

It is an offence to fail to carry sufficient means to clean up after your dog;

It is an offence to fail to remove the faeces from the land and to correctly dispose of it (bag it and dispose of in a waste or dedicated dog poo bin; or double bag it and take it home for disposal in your household waste)

Subject to the exception in 1(iii) see below, this article applies to all land which is in the administrative area of the Council and which is:

  • Open to the air (which includes land that is covered but open to the air on at least one side); and
  • To which the public are entitled or permitted to have access (with or without payment).

(PLEASE NOTE: 1(iii) This Order does not affect land that is placed at the disposal of the Forestry Commissioner under section 39(1) of the Forestry Act 1967 and Dartmoor National Park Common lands)

Exemptions to the order

A person registered as blind in a register compiled under section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948 shall not be guilty of an offence if they are alone with the dog and unable to remove the faeces. 

Likewise, a person with a disability which affects their mobility, manual dexterity, physical coordination or ability to lift or who relies on an assistance dog trained by a prescribed charity.

About Dog Fouling

We know that the majority of dog owners are responsible, and we appreciate your efforts - thank you! Unfortunately there is a small minority of dog owners or walkers who do not clean up after their dogs.

Dog fouling is one of the top anti-social problems nationwide. Dog mess is unsightly, unpleasant and can spread disease, or in extreme cases, cause blindness.

If you do not ensure dog mess is picked up and properly disposed of, a penalty of between £100 and £1000 may be payable.

Here are some tips on how to avoid a fine and how to be a responsible dog owner.

  • Never let your dog walk too far from you as this makes it difficult to see where they foul.
  • Dogs will usually foul soon after being let off the lead or out of the car/at the start of a walk so be ready.
  • Pay attention at all times to what your dog is doing, don't be distracted - especially not by your mobile phone!
  • Always carry 'poo' bags.
  • Take a torch with you on dark evenings and early morning walks in winter.
  • Dispose of bags in a dog or litter bin, or take it home to dispose of in your household bin.
  • Not disposing of a bag correctly is also a dog fouling and littering offence.
  • Keep the dog to the boundaries of sports pitches if possible as even after picking up, residual deposits can be left. Many complaints are received concerning sports pitches from the players, who can get dog mess on themselves during a game.
  • Dog faeces left on grazing or farm land can contaminate water courses and feed grass where cattle and sheep graze. These sheep and cattle may eventually find their way into the food chain. Please pick up after your dogs on country walks - do not use the so-called "stick and flick method."