A partnership between Monmouthshire County Council’s Environmental Health and Waste departments, Abergavenny Town Council, Gwent Police and the Friends of Bailey Park has drawn attention to the scourge of dog mess in public areas with a targeted day of action.  Abergavenny’s Dog Fouling Awareness Day was held on Thursday 19th May.

Dog mess is one of the most frequently complained about environmental issues, especially in children’s play areas and sports pitches, and the campaign involved council officers speaking to dog owners about cleaning up after their pets, handing out free dog poo bags, erecting signs and distributing information leaflets. They also sprayed the “Give Dog Fouling the Red Card” logo on paths throughout the park while responsible dog owners were thanked for ensuring dog faeces was bagged and binned.  Unfortunately, not all dog owners are so caring and the resulting piles of dog poo were marked with red spray or removed to prevent other park users from falling foul.

Local authorities and Gwent Police are empowered to issue fixed penalty notices and people failing to pick up their pets’ excrement face a £75 on the spot fine.  If the person refuses to pay, and the case is taken to court the offender may be fined up to £1,000.

Abergavenny Town Council has recently joined the Give Dog Fouling the Red Card scheme, which gives town and community councils in Monmouthshire access to savings in purchasing kit such as signs, bins and dog poo bags.  These encourage residents to be responsible dog owners.  Chair of the scheme, Jessica Crook said: “Our actions are cutting the amount of dog fouling on our streets and footpaths.  We are asking residents to report irresponsible dog owners and support this initiative”. Dog owners who do not pick up can be easily reported to the council via: http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/home/streets-parking-and-transport/recycling-and-waste/dogfouling/

Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox added: “The community is frustrated by a minority who do not clean up after their dogs; we deplore this and there really is no excuse.  Our environmental health and waste teams have been working effectively with local councils and others to put in place local initiatives such as Give Dog Fouling the Red Card which have helped to raise awareness and achieved a notable measure of success.”

For further information contact Monmouthshire’s Education and Awareness Officer Sue Parkinson Tel: 01633 644525.