Is Shropshire Council planning to force dogs to wear nappies in public?

Update 18 October. The council’s cabinet voted to consult on banning dogs from pooing in public along with the rest of the measure.

Difficult dogs off a lead and dog fouling are persistent problems. Dog fouling is a particular issue at this time of year with the dark nights. Shropshire Council is planning to crack down on this anti-social behaviour. The council is planning to apply for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) covering the entire county. This extends a current order and provides for better enforcement. This is a welcome move though those that walk their dog off lead many not be so happy.

The draconian part of the proposed order is that it will prohibit dog fouling in a public space. So even if dog owners clear the mess up, they could be fined for allowing their dog to poop in public. This proposal is obviously unworkable.

Shropshire Council is being overzealous. If it bans dogs fom defecating in public saces, it will be a defacto ban on most dogs going outside, unless they wear nappies.

If the prohibition is a mistake, it should have been spotted before the cabinet papers were published. And if it is a mistake, it adds to the crumbling reputation of Shropshire Council coming so soon after the council made a £77 million error its financial estimate for the cost of the North West Relief Road.

A dog and owner behaviour PSPO from another council
Shropshire Council’s proposal. It doesn’t look an error

The PSPO will apply to any place to which the public has access, whether by payment or for free, including parks, open spaces and footpaths. It will cover open land that is used with permission or implied permission, for example a field that is regularly used for dog walking without objection from the owner.

It will apply to roads and pathways, where owners will be obliged to keep their dog on a lead. I have mixed feeling about that. Many people don’t have their dogs on a lead in Ludlow and it is only a few that have unleased dogs that should be controlled by a lead. But it would be simpler to enforce if all dogs have to be on a lead on a public highway.

The Public Space Protection Order will:

  • prohibit dog fouling
  • prohibit non-collection and disposal of dog waste by dog owners
  • prohibit dogs from being off lead on the highway
  • exclude dogs from equipped play areas and fenced sports areas
  • give powers to officers to direct owners to put their dogs on leads in public areas if they are creating a nuisance or safety concern.

The order can be enforced by police officers, police community support officers, authorised council officers and by employees of other delegated organisations. They will be able to issue of Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £100 for each offence committed. If the owner is taken to court by Shropshire Council, the fine could be up to £1,000.

These proposals are an update and significant extension of powers granted in 2013.

The proposals are to be discussed by Shropshire Council’s cabinet on 18 October. Consultation on the proposals will be launched on 23 October.

The cabinet papers. Shropshire Council press release which makes clear the council wants to ban dogs pooing in public.

Dog mess within sight of a disposal bin

I have posters and ties available if anyone wishes to put them on lampposts in their area of Ludlow.

6 comments on Is Shropshire Council planning to force dogs to wear nappies in public?

  1. its going to be a bit difficult to enforce as nobody is going to stop their dog pooing. Dogs need exercise that tends to happen out of doors, dogs only need to be on leads when they are presented with confrontation situations eg fast traffic, humans who are scared of dogs, other dogs that are less well managed.
    Where do intend to impose this? In the middle of a field?

    There are much more important things for the council to do, like actively promote ways of reducing our carbon footprint, getting more money for our schools, dealing with abuse between humans – Perhaps this particular initiative is a joke

  2. Is this a money making ploy? If it is they should campaign for councils to be free from having their budget controlled by Govnt.You will ALWAYS get irresponsible humans to give the powers that be the opportunity to act draconian.

  3. What is this are the councils trying to stop responsible people from owning a dog there are some who shouldn’t have a dog but on the whole most owners are responsible and always clean up
    A dog can’t say to you when it needs the toilet so if you clean up why should you be penalised?

  4. So, thousands of dogs are house trained so that they don’t go to the toilet inside the house, but now they’re expected to avoid going to the toilet at all outside? Where exactly are they supposed to go to the toilet then? Inside the house? I can understand that not cleaning up after your dog is a problem, but getting fined even if you clean up after your dog? I genuinely had to check it wasn’t April the first. Sadly, it isn’t.

  5. Thinking of challenging Graeme Hall of “Dogs behaving very badly” how to train my dog not to poo on his walk. I think it is extremely illogical and harsh to fine responsible dog owners who do clean up their dog’s poo in public places.

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