Mid-Devon Council backs 60% rise in dog mess fine
A Devon council has voted in favour of increasing fines by 60% for dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.
Mid Devon District Council wants to raise on-the-spot fines from £50 to £80.
The authority received 206 complaints of dog fouling in 2011/2012, compared with 145 in 2008/2009.
The proposals will be included in a month-long public consultation discussing responsible dog ownership which will start in June.
In the past 12 months, eight on-the-spot fines were issued in the district.
Bacteria and worms
The council is looking at powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to enable it to increase the cost of the fine.
Paul Williams, head of environmental services, said: "The act does allow an £80 fine, where the old act only allowed £50."
Mr Williams said Dog Control Orders in the act would also allow owners to be fined in areas of the district which current legislation does not.
Nathan Hazlewood, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "Some dogs carry bacteria and worms that might be present in dog faeces. Some of them, like toxocara canis, can cause disease or infections in humans.
"Dog mess, if it is not cleared up, may be picked up by young children and can cause stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and, in rare cases, blindness."
In a bid to promote responsible dog ownership, the council is staging a month-long public consultation which will help it form its new policy.
Questionnaires about dog control issues will be available online and at the council's headquarters.
Source: BBC News