Dog Owners Who Don’t Clean Up After Pets Could Face £1,000 Fine
Councillors have voted unanimously to introduce tough new penalties for dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.
The so-called Public Spaces Protection Order was agreed at the recent Full Council meeting, following a public consultation with islanders earlier this year.
Under the new order, dog owners could face a fine of up to £1,000 if they fail to clean up or dispose appropriately of dog faeces produced by their pet.
The new rules will apply to the whole of the islands apart from Tresco.
A number of other offences have also been included in the order.
Dogs will be officially excluded from certain public areas, such as the beaches in Hugh Town, The Park, The Five Islands School play areas, and parts of Garrison Field.
And dogs will need to be kept on a lead in Hugh Town’s main streets and the islands’ churchyards.
Councillors Andrew Coombes and James Francis both expressed concern that the whole of Garrison Field had originally been included in the order.
They said tmany dog owners they knew where against this, particularly if they wanted to walk their pets while taking their children to the Garrison play area.
But Strategic Development Manager Diana Mompoloki said parts of the field could be opened up to dogs to allow people to access the area around the pirate ship play frame.
Cllr Gordon Bilsborough wanted to know how the order would be enforced, particularly if dog owners became “awkward” and refused to give their details.
Ms Mompoloki said the enforcement officer will be carrying a video camera and will start filming as soon as they start to enforce an order.
“If they don’t cooperate at that point we will call the police,” she told councillors, “because it will become a more serious issue than a fixed penalty notice.”
Council Chairman Amanda Martin wanted clearer wording in the order to include pet owners who didn’t dispose of faeces in the appropriate way.
Amanda complained about “disgusting and ugly bags that are left adorning our bushes and trees like Christmas decorations.”
She said she was “horrified” on a recent walk around Peninnis after ferns had been cut back to see “the whole field changed colour to black.”
Cllr James Francis felt the problem was a lack of dog bins in the right places, but Cllr Martin responded that the provision was “already quite good” and Ms Mompoloki said they could only install bins near the usual dustcart rounds.
Cllr Christine Savill wanted the Duchy to support the order on the off-islands “at least by providing the bins.”
She welcomed the new rules, saying it’s “something our community fully supports” and “if there’s no change, it will come back to bite us.”