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Dog Fouling


Dog Fouling and the Law

Dog fouling is the offence of being in charge of a dog and failing to remove the dog mess from a public place.

On 22nd July 2008, The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Sedgemoor District Council) Order came into effect. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to clean up after the dog if it fouls in a public area. Failure to do so may incur a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75, or a criminal conviction in Court.

It was introduced following a consultation open to residents and organisations.  The Order applies to all public land including beaches, along with all locations where the public has permission to access private land.

If you are aware of anyone not clearing up after their dog please report it to us. Any information provided will be treated confidentially.

To report cases of dog fouling in confidence please use the following link to report the matter to the Dog Wardens:  Dog and Animal Wardens

To report an area that is badly affected by dog fouling, please contact  Clean Surroundings.

What we need to know when you contact us

If you do not know the dog owner, please let us know: 

  • the time that you witnessed the dog fouling  and the location
  • a brief description of the dog and the owner. 
  • Any vehicle details such as the registration number, make and model of any vehicle used by the dog owner.

Please provide as much detail as possible and this will assist the Dog Wardens in their investigation.

If you know the owner and are willing to provide a formal witness statement we can approach the dog owner and in some cases, we may issue a fixed penalty notice. 

Report Dog Fouling

If you are aware of a dog owner that does not clean up after their dog please report it by completing a  Report dog fouling form or talk to us in confidence on 01278 435294

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the law apply?

There are not always signs. The law applies almost everywhere once you are outside your own garden. It covers parks, footpaths, open spaces, verges, alleyways, playing fields, beaches and any other public place. There are now many signs up in these areas, however the law applies regardless of signage.

What happens if I do not clean up after my dog?

The Council can issue an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of £75. However, the maximum fine in a Magistrates Court is £1,000. There are Dog Wardens patrolling the District to carry out enforcement of the law. We also receive reports from the public.

What if there are not any dog bins nearby?

Dog waste can be disposed of in public litter bins if they are available, or you can take the waste home and dispose of it in your general refuse bin.

I don't have a bag to pick it up with?

You must be prepared each time you take your dog out to pick up the waste every time. This is a responsibility that comes with dog ownership.

Why do I have to pick it up?

  • It damages your local environment.
  • It increases tension between dog owners and others.
  • It ruins everyone's enjoyment of walking in our parks.
  • It prevents children running freely and can make sports fields unusable.
  • It is a very unpleasant to remove from shoes, wheelchair and pushchair wheels.
  • Apart from it being unsightly, smelly and attracting flies the dog faeces can carry parasites that can cause us harm.
If it is so dangerous, I am not going to pick it up.

Dog waste is not dangerous if it is picked up correctly. Use a bag or a pooper scooper so you do not touch the waste and it is perfectly safe to collect.

No one else bothers to pick it up. Why should I?

Most dog owners in Sedgemoor are very responsible as evidenced by the many tonnes of dog waste we collect from dog bins every year. It is the law and therefore you have to pick it up.

Is anyone exempt from the law?

Yes. People who are registered blind are not expected to clean up after their dog.

If you feel you have a genuine reason why you should be exempt please speak with the Dog Warden at the time. If you are in this position you should train your dog to go at home if possible.