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Dog fouling

Don't put up with it!

Allowing a dog to foul in a public space without cleaning it up is an act of environmental anti-social behaviour.

  • It's the law for an owner, or person in charge of a dog, to pick up after it has fouled on public land.
  • If they don't clean-up, they can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice.
  • The maximum penalty is £1000 in a magistrates' court.
  • Dog mess is unpleasant and can cause serious illness and blindness to people through an infection called toxocariasis, caused by worms found in dogs' intestines.
  • Our Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service undertakes strategic enforcement in areas particularly affected by fouling.



Toxicarasis can cause blindness, stomach upsets, sore throats and asthma. It is caused by a roundworm called toxocara, which is commonly found in dogs, and almost all puppies.

Eggs from the roundworm are found in dog waste, where they can pose a health risk if ingested, particularly to small children.

The eggs remain active in the soil for years, long after any dog waste has weathered away, so the risk isn't always obvious; that is why it is important to always wash your hands after using open spaces. You should always wash your hands after having contact with a dog, as dogs also carry worm eggs in their coat.

How can you help

  • 'No Fouling' signs are available for you to download and fix to your property. You are not able to fix these to public property, but it will still help to spread the message if dog fouling is a problem in your neighbourhood.
  • If you're a dog owner or walker, always carry a bag when you walk your dog. Bagged dog mess tied up tightly (ideally double bagged) can be placed in any public litter bin.
  • If you have a garden, train your dog to do its mess there and make sure you clean up and put it in your refuse bin straight away. Never put animal mess in your garden bin.
  • Never let your dog to go out to do its mess alone.


Report a dog fouling Issue

We no longer routinely erect signs and stencils in public areas but instead use this resource to undertake more strategic enforcement in areas particularly affected by fouling. Fouling signs are available for you to download, print and affix to your property (please do not affix to any street furniture etc).  

If you have a problem with dog fouling in your neighbourhood and you know who the dog walker is, report them. The more it's reported, the more they might think twice about leaving mess. It is useful to know the date of when the offence took place and where you witnessed it.

  • Report it to our Dog Welfare and Enforcement on 01744 676338 or online.

For more information about responsible dog ownership, visit Dogs Trust.