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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Copeland declares war on dog mess scourge

Battle lines have been drawn in a council blitz against dog fouling.

Those who don’t cleaned up after their pets are being warned they face hefty fines as Copeland Council targets local hot-spots which have seen an increase in dog mess.

Brightly-coloured stencil imprints, which last around three months depending on weather conditions, are being applied to footpaths and walkways across the borough.

And the latest weapons have so far had a positive result, as people have reported improvements.

Peter Kane, Copeland’s portfolio holder for environment, hopes the stencils will raise awareness of the “unpleasant” and “anti-social” issue of dog fouling and will encourage owners to clean up the mess.

“It’s clearly an emotive issue and a big talking point, especially around out local schools and in places where children play,” he added.

“The saying goes that a dog is a man’s best friend and we want to ensure that owner’s reciprocate in kind by reminding them to keep our streets clear of dog mess, disposing of it in sealed carrier bags, and placing them in appropriate bins.”

Dog stencils are already in place at various locations across the borough, including Whitehaven, St Bees foreshore, Egremont, Frizington and Beckermet.

A council spokeswoman said the authority receives “numerous complaints” regarding dog fouling and that the hot-spot areas have been identified by Copeland’s environmental enforcement officers, or reported by the public and by local schools. Enforcement offers have powers to issue an £80 fixed penalty notice to anyone caught not cleaning up after their dog and if the fine is not paid, it can result in a £1,000 fine, plus costs, issued at magistrates court.

In the last financial year, 36 fixed penalty notices were issued in Copeland.

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