May 21 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
TOUGHER powers to deal with owners who cannot control their dogs in Fenland are set to be introduced by the council.
The move will allow Fenland District Council enforcement officers to tell owners to pick up their dog’s faeces and ban dogs from certain community areas.
It will also mean the maximum penalty for failing to control your dog will increase from £50 to £80 and/or a £1,000 fine on prosecution.
But the council has had to admit it has not made use of the powers it already has.
Despite more than 650 issues relating to dog fouling and behaviour being reported to the council in 2011/12, there has not been a single prosecution nor fixed penalty notice issued.
A spokesman for the council said: “Unfortunately, while we recognise dog fouling is a major concern, it’s very hard to actually catch people who fail to clear up the mess, not least because they tend to do it when noone’s around.”
The spokesman added the focus has to be on educating dog owners about their responsibilities and the dangers of dog poo.
A report to the council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday said the council has dealt with the issues effectively since introducing its own powers in 1996 but “unfortunately, the minority of dog owners and walkers who are not responsible and considerate to others considerate to have a detrimental effect on the community’s valued green spaces”.
The new powers, under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (CNEA), if approved at cabinet, will be put to public consultation.