No Excuse for Dirty Dog Owners!

Dirty dog owners have no excuse not to “Bag it and Bin it”, as an additional 150 dog waste bins are set to be installed across Rhondda Cynon Taf!

The 150 dog waste bins plus additional signage in key locations across the County Borough will take the total dog waste bin count up to 1000 bins.

Dogs’ mess is one of the biggest issues on the streets right across Rhondda Cynon Taf – which is the focus of the recently launched, “Bag it and Bin it!” campaign – it’s a simple message that could save dirty dog owners going home with their tails between their legs and a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

The Enforcement Team have been out and about visiting areas that have been reported as hot spots to the Council with extra bins now being installed in these key areas.

To further support this, the Enforcement Team have upped their presence in the hot spot areas and are raising awareness about the importance of being a responsible dog owner. The team will also be cracking down on any dirty dog owners that they find and issuing £75 Fixed Penalty Notice’s (FPN’s) to any caught not cleaning up after their dogs on our streets and playing fields.

Over the last year a staggering 71 tonnes of dog mess has been collected by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare staff. 

The majority of that mess was collected from the dog waste bins that are installed in communities across the County Borough by the Council in order to deal with the problem. 

But far too much of it was scooped up from streets, pavements, open spaces, town centres and even parks, which is disgusting, dangerous and illegal!

The “Bag it and Bin it” campaign, launched in September 2015, and this latest investment is part of the wider crackdown on irresponsible dog owners. 

The Council’s dedicated Streetcare Enforcement Team are out in force everyday on foot, bikes and in cars across the County Borough ready to catch offenders and continue a comprehensive crackdown on litter, dog fouling, flyposting, flytipping, graffiti, cigarette butts and waste issues throughout the County Borough. This is to ensure that Rhondda Cynon Taf is a clean, green and safe community for everyone to live in, work in and visit. 

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Culture said: ““The vast majority of dog owners are responsible but unfortunately some dog owners don’t seem to realise that failing to clear up their dog’s mess in public places is illegal. It’s a dirty eyesore on our County Borough as well as having serious health implications for the community and we must do all we can to eradicate this problem

“After receiving complaints from local residents and seeing the problem for myself in some areas, the Enforcement Team are now set to tackle the issue on the streets across the County Borough in a bid to catch those responsible for the disgusting mess. 

“We are very fortunate to have such a pro-active and enthusiastic Streetcare Team who remain committed to using innovative schemes and initiatives to combat these blights on our towns and villages. The officers are now carrying out leaflet drops in hot spot areas, handing out free dog waste bags and speaking to any members of the public they see. Importantly, anyone seen allowing their dog to foul and not cleaning it up will be issued a £75 FPN on the spot.” 

Dog waste is not only unsightly and messy, it can have serious health implications for children and adults alike, including toxocariasis. 

Toxocariasis is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The parasites eggs can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months or sometimes a lifetime. Symptoms include eye disorders, blindness, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and epileptic fits.

Since April 2014 2268 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued to individuals who committed offences, which include, dog fouling, fly tipping, littering and cigarette butts. This has resulted in offenders coughing up over £170,000 which could have been avoided if they had simply used the bins and dogs’ waste bins provided by the Council.

During the same period the Council’s Enforcement Wardens issued 4133 warning letters in a bid to encourage residents to learn the error of their ways and think twice before they commit an offence! 

All the revenue generated from the FPNs is invested back in frontline services to further improve our County Borough and respond to the priority issues our residents have identified. 

Under the Dog Fouling Act 1996, owners have to be in control of their pets and remove any mess left in the open air – whether it’s in a playing field, a pavement or a neighbour’s garden, it’s the owner’s problem! 

The Council provides specific bins near dog walking routes. If there is no bin on your route it is your responsibility to take it home with you for disposal. 

Free dog fouling bags are available from all libraries and One4All Centres throughout the County Borough. 

For further information on the services provided by the dedicated Streetcare teams or to report dog fouling incident visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/dogfouling  

To further support the work of the Enforcement Team the Council recently launched its “Who Done It?” campaign which targets suspected offenders who have falsely given their details to an enforcement officer when they have been suspected of carrying out offences, such as allowing their dog to foul in a public place and failing to clean it up.

When a person suspected of committing an offence is dealt with by an Enforcement Officer, they are told that they are being filmed using body cameras. A number of suspects give false details which means that the Council are unable to conclude their investigations in to the alleged offence.

The Council is cracking down on suspected individuals and we need the public’s help to identify them – images of persons the Council would like to speak to in connection with a number of suspected offences are being posted on the Council’s website in the hope that the public can help identify them.

For more information visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/whodoneit.  

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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