Dog Fouling

DOGS (Fouling of Land) Act 1996
In June 1999 Winchester City Council adopted the Act to help make the district a cleaner place to live. Dog's faeces is unsightly, smells and carries disease.

Winchester City Council adopted the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 to cover all land within its district which is open to the air and to which the public are allowed or permitted to have access these include:

  • Pavements
  • Parks
  • Roads
  • Open Spaces
  • Footbridges
  • Amenity Areas
  • Footpaths
  • Shopping Precincts
  • Grass Verges
  • Car Parks
  • Playing Fields

The law does not apply to the following:

  1. Land comprised in or running alongside a highway where the speed limit is over 40mph.
  2. Land used for agriculture or woodland.
  3. Land which is permanently marshland, moor or heath.
  4. Rural common land.

Private gardens, drives, roads etc. are not covered by the legislation as they are not for general public access.
People who are registered blind and in control of a dog are exempt.
If you are not sure whether the Act applies to an area, you should assume that it does.

What can the Council Do?

Failure to clean up after your dog is an offence. Anyone seen allowing their dog to foul and not cleaning up after it may be approached by the Councils Animal Welfare Officer or other authorised officers and issued with a FIXED PENALTY NOTICE of £50.

The owner will have the opportunity to pay the fixed penalty and thereby avoid conviction. The notice must be paid to Winchester City Council within 14 days or, alternatively, if the fixed penalty is not paid, the offender may be prosecuted and if found guilty of the offence, fined a maximum of £1,000. It is no defence to claim ignorance of the dog's actions.

The Council does not operate a payment scheme.

How can I report fouling?

If you have a dog fouling hot spot near where you live i.e. where there is regular and persistent fouling, you can report this to Winchester City Council’s Environmental Health and Licensing Team on 01962 840222 ext 2172. Please be aware that unless officers witness the act of fouling we cannot serve a fixed penalty notice. However in reporting a fouling hot spot it will enable Winchester City Council to focus resources on the areas of greatest need.

When walking your dog, always carry a "poop scoop" or suitable receptacle to pick up your dogs faeces. These can be put in a dog waste bin (or marked dual waste bin) or taken home for disposal.

Please help us achieve our aim by being a responsible dog owner, thereby enabling everyone to enjoy the environment.

Further information on the Act:
The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996

Toxocara Canis - The Facts

There can be little doubt that fouling of pavements and public places by dogs is something which - quite rightly - annoys the large majority of the public.  But, of course, it is not just the fouling itself but the fear of disease which may be passed to humans, particularly children, that worries people most.

Toxocariasis is caused by the roundworm toxocara canis, present in dogs. Humans can become infected by swallowing toxocara eggs which are found in dog faeces. After hatching, the larvae pass through the human body causing a variety of symptoms including damage to the eye. The life cycle is not completed in people and never results in worms.

Can children go blind?

Despite scare headlines in the newspapers, total blindness from toxocara infection is exceptional. It is rare even for the sight of one eye to be totally lost, though vision in one eye can be impaired.

How many cases occur in a year? 

Cases do occur every year in the UK, although fortunately very few are serious. However, even one case is one case too many and with basic hygiene practices and regular worming of dogs and cats the disease is easily preventable.

How is the infection caught? 
 

You can only get the disease by ingesting, or swallowing eggs from faeces. Freshly deposited faeces pose no threat as the eggs only become infective after about three weeks. If the faeces is cleared immediately there is no danger.

Why are children more at risk?

Children, especially toddlers, crawl on grass in gardens and parks. They may pick up the toxocara canis eggs on their hands and then put fingers in their mouths. With proper measures such as cleaning up after dogs in these areas and keeping childrens sandpits covered when not in use etc., the risk would be even less.

It is important that children should be taught to wash their hands regularly after playing with animals and always before eating.

Worms are present in greatest numbers in bitches who are nursing puppies and the puppies themselves. The best way to cut down the amount of eggs is to worm puppies and bitches fortnightly. This should be done from when the puppies are 2-3 weeks old until they reach 6 months with worming preparations from your Vet, the Chemist or Pet Shop. All dogs and cats should be wormed routinely twice a year after that.