Let's not beat about the bush, dog mess is the unpleasant but unavoidable by-product of owning a dog. It is every owner's moral duty and legal responsibility to clean up after their dog.
Parks and bans
The disgust that dog mess causes to those who have stepped in it, sat by it or seen their local parks and beaches ruined by it through others' laziness, is felt keenly enough by responsible dog owners who walk there every day. The offence and anger this fouling causes to the general public is so great that letters of complaint on the subject are received daily by MPs and councillors across the UK. While these complaints have sometimes resulted in more special bins being provided and awareness raising projects being funded, they have also led to campaigns and policies which punish not only the guilty, selfish owners and their dogs, but all of us. The result? You and your companion could be banned from your own local park.
Dog mess is not only a problem in our towns, cities and urban areas. Some owners, visiting the countryside and coasts, seem to forget about their duty when they are out of town. Car parks at popular beauty spots, public forests and heathland are often surrounded by the mess of visiting dogs. Sadly these are often the same areas where other people picnic, or children play. Wherever you are, you must always collect and dispose of your dog’s mess thoughtfully.
Local authorities have the power to introduce and enforce dog fouling byelaws under which a person in charge of a dog can be heavily fined for allowing dogs to foul in a public place. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 applies to local authority designated land which may include roads, parks and other public areas within the local authority’s boundaries. In fact, they can designate any land which is open to the air and to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access – look out for signs stating this. An offence is committed if a person in charge of a dog fails to clean up its faeces. It is no defence to claim ignorance of the dog's actions, the law, or not to have a device available to remove the faeces. This could result in a prosecution and fine.