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Dog walkers face £100 fine for leaving poop bags at home

Dog owners in Daventry will be fined £100 if they do not produce a dog poop bag. Credit: PA

Dog walkers can now be fined £100 if they leave the house without a poop bag regardless of whether their pet fouls.

Daventry District Council in Northamptonshire, who introduced the new powers, said owners should have to prove how they would clean up after their dogs to cut down on the problem of fouling.

Those who fail to pay the £100 fine could face a penalty of up to £1,000 if the case is taken to court.

Mike Warren, health and housing portfolio holder for the council, said making sure dog owners carry bags is not "unreasonable".

We still have a small minority of persistent offenders that we are keen to stop.

This new order gives us greater powers to take effective action against those irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after their pets.

These new powers are not intended to penalise the many responsible dog owners in our district, who should be assured that our officers will be taking a common-sense approach on their patrols. It's not unreasonable though, for example, to expect someone who has just arrived at a venue to walk their dog to be carrying poo bags.

– Mike Warren, Daventry District Council

The two council enforcement officers in the district council will not have powers of stop and search but under the new Public Space Protection Order it will be an offence not to produce a bag when asked.

The council added fines "are not in place as a money-making scheme" and that 73% of the 834 people who responded to a consultation said they were in favour of the plan.

Lee Paris, campaigns officer at Dogs Trust, said the approach was "a sledgehammer to crack a nut".

The overwhelming majority of dog owners do pick up their dog's mess.

We're unclear how such a blanket policy, which is likely to require significant resources and enforcement, will be effective in reducing the instances of dog fouling in Daventry.

Dogs Trust would instead rather see time and resources spent on tackling irresponsible dog owners who are behaving in an anti-social way.

– Lee Paris, Dogs Trust