RHondda Cynon Taf Council claim 50 fines now issued to irresponsible dog owners
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has issued more than 50 fines to irresponsible dog owners across the County Borough, following the introduction of harder-hitting dog fouling rules.
A new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) came into force on October 1, introducing new rules that dog owners must follow to ensure the County Borough is kept clean – or face an increased £100 fine. Dog fouling is one of the issues most frequently reported to the Council, and the new rules were introduced following an extensive consultation with residents earlier this year.
Promoted by the Council’s Sort **IT Out! campaign, the new dog fouling rules have been supported by Pontyclun resident Collin Smith who, in 1979, suffered a broken leg in a school rugby match – and had to have his leg amputated due to an infection from dog mess on the field.
The PSPO states that:
- Dog owners MUST clean up their dogs’ mess immediately and dispose of it properly.
- Dog owners MUST carry means to pick up dog mess (for example, bags) at all times.
- Dog owners MUST follow a direction from an authorised officer (for example, to put a dog on a lead).
- Dogs are BANNED from all schools, children’s play areas and marked sports pitches maintained by the Council.
- Dogs MUST be kept on a lead at all times in Council maintained cemeteries.
A separate PSPO for dog controls at Aberdare Park only was also introduced on October 1 – stating that dogs must be kept on leads at all times.
More enforcement officers have been out and about in streets, parks and the countryside since October 1, and for the first 20 days, they were instructed to raise awareness of the new rules, to ensure dog walkers were fully-aware of what was expected of them before any fines were issued.
As of December 5, 2017, officers have issued a total of 53 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to irresponsible dog owners, for a number of offences including dog fouling, dogs in restricted areas and dogs off leads at Aberdare Park.
Nigel Wheeler, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Director of Highways and Streetcare Services, said: “The new dog fouling rules and increased maximum fine of £100 were introduced by the Council on October 1 following a call to action by residents, during an extensive consultation carried out earlier this year.
“The Council has now issued more than 50 fines across Rhondda Cynon Taf, showing that continued irresponsible behaviour by dog owners will not be tolerated. Instead of issuing fines, we would much rather see dog owners act responsibly by cleaning up dog mess, and avoiding prohibited areas such as marked sports pitches and children’s play areas.
“More than two months have passed since the dog fouling rules came into force, and they have been clearly promoted by the Sort **IT Out! campaign – so there is no excuse for dog owners caught acting irresponsibly.
“The Council is installing dozens more red dog mess bins this year to further encourage responsible dog ownership, and to ensure our streets, parks and countryside are kept clean for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
For information about the new dog fouling rules and the Council’s Sort **IT Out! campaign, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/sortitout.