Dog walking group member wants to publicly shame those who fail to clean up after their pets in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Dog fouling culprits should be slapped with large fines and their images plastered over their communities, a dog walking group member has voiced.
Barrie Jones, 74, from the Moreton Hall estate in Bury St Edmunds, said he is fed up of responsible dog owners like himself being “tarred with the same brush” as those who do not clear up after their pets.
In St Edmundsbury no fines have been issued by the borough council for dog mess for more than three years, while in West Mersea, Essex, a dog walker was recently charged more than £1,000, when the case went to court, after his pet fouled on a beach.
This culprit had been issued with a fine by a Colchester Borough Council zone warden who spotted the incident.
Mr Jones is a member of a dog walking group who use Ten Acre Field at Moreton Hall and regularly clear other people’s dog mess, as well as litter.
He believes the culprits should be hit with “big fines with public humiliation of offenders”, adding that putting up pictures of the pet owners responsible would be a “good idea” to “belittle them in their own residential areas”.
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“We have the legislation round here [to fine],” he said. “But I have never heard of anyone being done for it.”
Moreton Hall borough councillor Frank Warby and his wife Pat Warby, a town councillor for Moreton Hall, also regularly clear dog waste and litter from the field in a bid to keep it clean.
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But Mr Warby does not believe St Edmundsbury Borough Council - which has not employed a dog warden for more than five years - has the resources to issue fines due to funding cuts.
“We haven’t got dog wardens unfortunately and unless we can provide who has done it and their name what can we do?”
He added: “It’s difficult to catch them in the act.”
In Leiston, a man was so incensed about dog mess he hid in bushes in order to catch people.
Mr Warby said members of the community should report the problem if they see it happening, and his message to the dog fouling culprits was to “take pride in your area”.
Mr Jones, who has four rescue dogs, said dog mess and littering was a national problem, adding: “It’s generally a national lack of discipline. The poor old country has gone to the dogs.”
A borough council spokesman “We would love to work with this dog walking group to try to catch and fine those offenders not picking up after their dog.
“While we do not have the financial resources to have staff stood waiting by greens to catch people from the early hours through to late at night, responsible dog walkers such as this group may be able to provide the key intelligence such as the time and location that we are likely to catch local offenders.
“We would urge this group to get in contact with us via email or phone 01284 757687.”
The borough council has re-looked at the issue of dog fouling this year following the coverage in this newspaper and is working on a raft of measures including launching a campaign and financial rewards for reporting offences.
Elsewhere in Suffolk, campaigners have also stepped forward to tackle the issue of dog fouling.