Fenland councillors discuss idea of ‘special delivery’ for dog owners who fail to pick up poop from streets

Last year, Fenland District Council ran a campaign to highlight the problem of dog fouling by sprayi

Last year, Fenland District Council ran a campaign to highlight the problem of dog fouling by spraying mess left behind by owners. Cllr Peter Murphy is pictured spraying some poop in Wisbech Park. - Credit: Archant

The possibility of posting dog poop back to owners who fail to remove it from public spaces was discussed at last night’s meeting of Fenland District Council.

Wisbech councillor Simon King raised the question after a resident told him of a campaign in Spain, where faeces was posted back to the owner if it was not picked up.

The town claimed a 70 per cent drop in the amount of dog mess on the streets.

Cllr King told the council: “I am sure it acts as a powerful deterrent, opening a brown envelope and finding more brown stuff inside.

“I am not expecting an answer off the foot but Cllr (Peter) Murphy, if perhaps you could make some enquiries about whether this happens elsewhere, in the UK and whether it’s something we might be able to do?”

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Cllr King said the identity of the owner could potentially be traced using a genetic sample of the poop, to match it to a dog’s microchip.

Cllr Murphy, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said in response: “If a person, like yourself, wanted to do that they can do.

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“I am sure there are a number of people who would want to do it and I am sure your name will be first on the list.”

Councillor Rob Skoulding told the council: “It would give a new meaning to brown envelopes!”

In 2013, the Spanish town of Brunete, near Madrid, hit back at dog owners who failed to clear up after their pets in public by sending them the mess in the post.

Twenty volunteers patrolled the streets on the lookout for owners who failed to clear up. They found out the name of the dog by talking to the owner – and identified the owner using a registered pet database held in the town hall which listed dogs’ names and breeds.

The volunteers scooped up the mess and posted it to the owner in a box, carrying town hall branding and the words ‘lost property’.

In total, 147 packages were posted to residents – and the town claimed a 70 per cent improvement in owners cleaning up after their dogs.

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