The Town Council has issued a statement on dog-fouling in Whitchurch and the town website is pleased to reproduce it here:

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Whitchurch Town Council continues to receive complaints regarding dog fouling in public places, and their owners not clearing up after them. This is not just a problem on our pavements, parks and recreation grounds, but it is becoming an increasing nuisance on or beside our public footpaths.

Contrary to popular belief, footpaths are not owned by the Town, Borough or County Councils. They are the property of the land owner, and can be seen as part of their back garden. If a dog fouls a footpath, then it is the owner’s responsibility to pick up the waste and properly dispose of it. Otherwise, it will remain for other unsuspecting walkers to step in.

The Council has also received complaints about dog owners who pick up after their dogs using a plastic bag, but then hang the bags on fences, gates and trees, or throw them into other people’s property or into the undergrowth. Many people find this incomprehensible – Why do they not take the bags home for disposal, or use one of the litter bins, of which there are currently 61 around the Town?

The Local Council assists the County Council’s Rights-of-Way Department to keep the footpaths in good condition, and useable for all; we often pay our own contractor to strim them and help keep them clear. It can be quite disgusting to hit the faeces or bags containing faeces whilst strimming, and it is not acceptable than anyone should have to face this risk in the process of their work.

Public footpaths are there for all to enjoy, with or without dogs. Our plea is for all dog owners to pick up after their pet, and dispose of the bag in the nearest bin, so that we can all continue to enjoy our very special natural environment, and public areas.

We would now like to hear from you with information, opinions and suggestions, regarding this continuing problem.

You may use the comment form on the Town Council’s website, or drop a letter into the letter box at the Town Hall.

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Comments (1)

  • kiwimike

    I have requested the following information from the Town Council regarding the much-discussed Dog Control Order. I believe these are basic questions that should be understood before we spend £5,000 of ratepayers money and penalise responsible dog owners on something that might not work:

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    What is the exact nature of the perceived problem – i.e. how much dog mess, how often, where and when?

    Has any monitoring work been done to understand the problem, or has the case for a DCO been built on anecdotal feedback?

    How much will an order cost ratepayers to put in place, including signage and legal fees?

    How will it be legally and meaningfully enforced?

    Will the council actively prosecute residents who breach a DCO?

    What evidence does the council have that DCO’s reduce the issue of dog waste?

    What has the council done to understand the impact a DCO will have on elderly or disabled residents who need to exercise their pets?

    If the council removes the only viable place a disabled or elderly resident can exercise their pet safely, does it breach any legislation?

    How will a DCO be monitored to ensure value for money and community benefit?

    If a DCO delivers no discernable benefit, will it be rescinded?

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