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Dog Mess Law: Picking Up After Your Dog

As a rule, council fines for dog mess vary from £50 to £80. You can avoid an on-the-spot fine by knowing what is the law on picking up after your dog.

DOG FOULING LAWS UK: Council regulations vary as much as the fines. Some local authorities are stricter than others on dog fouling penalties.

There are those which force dog walkers to carry a disposable bag and a poop scoop while walking their pet pooch in a public place.

The dog mess law, and consequential fine, does not apply to registered blind dog owners. The blind do not need to clean up 'guide dog poop'.

What happens if you don't clean up after your mutt has fouled and you get fined? Refusing to pay the on-the-spot fine could land you in court where you can get another penalty up to £1,000.

What is Dog Fouling?

Dog fouling is a messy eyesore. Perhaps more importantly, dog mess is also a potential health hazard.

All dog owners have a legal duty to clean up dog faeces immediately after their animal fouls a public place. Dog mess laws do not allow the excuse of 'not noticing' that the canine has fouled.

Some councils offer free poop scoops for this purpose. Contact the animal warden unit at your local council to check if they are available in your area.

Dog Fouling Laws UK: Picking Up Dog Poop Law in the United KingdomIf you need to improvise with a cheap plastic bag, you should dispose of it appropriately. There are specific bins clearly marked as doggy bins in most recreational and public areas.

You can contact your local council if excessive dog mess is littering your street or neighbourhood district.

As a rule, they will clean up dog mess if you report a dog fouling problem.

The authorities must also keep public areas clean of animal excrement. This includes children's playgrounds, parks, and street pavements.

Note: Double wrap your doggy bag and dump it in a normal litter bin if you fail to identify dog mess bins.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 is law in England and Wales. It revoked the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and introduced a raft of strict dog control orders.

The act grants local councils and communities greater regulation towards owners of canines and clearing up their dog's mess.

Besides, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 now permits local authorities to make a 'public spaces protection order'.

Dog Poo Laws UK: Exemption for Dog Owners

An exemption exists for dog owners on certain areas of public land in England and Wales. As a rule, these will include:


Stick and Flick Dog Poo Method | The latest advice tells you 'not' to pick up dog mess in woodland areas.

Dog Warden Service | Reporting a missing or a lost dog to the dog warden service at your local council.

Dog Fouling Law (Scotland) Act 2003

The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 enforces the law in Scotland. It is an offence for a person in charge of a hound in a public open space not to clear up after the dog has defecated.

Currently, the maximum fine for the offence in Scotland is £500. Scottish authorities authorise wardens to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for dog mess offences. Police in Scotland can also issue a Fixed Penalty Notice which currently stand at £80 (increased from £40).

Dog Poop Laws: What is the Law on Picking Up After Your Dog in United Kingdom?