Gwynedd tackles town centre dog fouling

Date: 17/03/2020
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As part of efforts to ensure Gwynedd communities are safe and pleasant places to live, the Council’s Street Enforcement Team is urging dog-owners to ensure that they clean-up after their pets.

Whilst most people do their utmost to keep our streets clean, a minority of irresponsible dog owners cause concerns in a number of towns and villages.

Gwynedd Council’s Highways and Municipal Cabinet Member, Councillor Catrin Wager, said: “As a dog owner myself, I know how much joy a dog can bring to a household.  Dogs can be valuable members of the family, and have a significant contribution to make to the wellbeing of their owners.

“But with dog ownership comes responsibility; and part of that is to ensure that your pets waste is  dealt with appropriately. Bags filled with excrement and left on roadsides, benches and woodlands are not appropriate, and leaving waste, unbagged on the street or in public spaces is certainly not acceptable.”

Many dogs are infected with parasites which can be harmful to people, especially children. Toxocariasis is a disease caused when the eggs of toxocara worms are transferred from dogs to people through infected dog mess or soil. Infection can lead to serious illness and even blindness.

Councillor Rheinallt Puw, Gwynedd Council Member for Bethesda’s Ogwen ward said: “There are a small number of persistent dog fouling offenders here in Bethesda who don’t pick up and dispose of their pet’s mess and seem not at all concerned about the effect that their carelessness is having on the health and wellbeing of others. I’d encourage dogowners to act responsibly and to make sure that they clean-up after their pets.”

Gwynedd’s Enforcement Team are carrying out extra warden patrols in problematic areas in an attempt to catch the offenders. In Gwynedd it is a criminal offence to fail to clean up after a dog has fouled. It is also an offence to take a dog onto designated children’s play areas, school grounds, sports pitches and certain beaches (April-September). Offenders are liable to receive a £100 fixed penalty, with failure to pay potentially leading to a court summons and a fine of up to £1,000.

Councillor Wager continued: “While the street enforcement team will be upping their patrols to try and tackle those who persistently offend, I would also like to stress that the Council is also trying to support owners to deal with waste in the correct manner. For example, we offer free, biodegradable bags to the public from a number of locations including Siop Gwynedd in Caernarfon, Pwllheli and Dolgellau, and also some public libraries.”

Dolbenmaen Councillor Stephen Churchman also urged dogowners to act responsibly. He said: “I hope this campaign is a success as it is unfair that a careless minority cause the majority of dog fouling problems. These days all responsible owners know that cleaning up is an essential part of caring for their dog and wouldn’t dream of leaving the problem behind for others.”

Contact Gwynedd Council’s  Street Enforcement Team for further information. You may contact the team on 01766 771 000 or send an e-mail to streetenforcement@gwynedd.llyw.cymru