The latest weapon in the war on dog fouling has been unleashed by Northumberland County Council.
Dog owners no longer have an excuse of falling foul of the law when it comes to picking up after their four-legged friends after the installation of free dog waste bag dispensers at two dog fouling hot spots.
The dispensers hold 100 percent compostable and biodegradable dog waste bags which are free and accessible 24/7.
They have been installed at Milburn Park bowling green, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and at the entrance to Tyne Green Country Park in Hexham, on a two month trial basis. If they prove successful there are plans to introduce more dog waste stations across the county.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council said: “No community should have to put up with streets and green spaces polluted with dog fouling.
“Seeing bags readily available will hopefully encourage irresponsible dog walkers to take one and pick up after their dog. Or at the very least it will make them realise that it is the right thing to do – and there can be no excuses.
“Once bagged, dog mess can be put in any public bin. If there isn’t a bin immediately to hand, carry it with you until you come across one. Please don’t, under any circumstances, think it is an acceptable alternative to leave bagged dog mess behind or hanging from a tree. This is still an offence and if caught you will still receive a fixed penalty notice for littering.”
John Nichol from North Seaton and his dog Amber, were part of a group of dog walkers and their pets who joined Cllr Sanderson to launch the dispensers at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. John said: “This is a good new initiative, which I fully support. It is also important however that the council patrols public areas and enforces the law in relation to dog fouling.”
The stations have been provided free of charge by international market-leading company, TiksPac, who will cover the cost of the stations through advertising. The company will also provide replacement dog bags and replace any damaged stations for free. The only cost to the council will be the initial siting of the dispensers.
The council’s efforts to crack down on dog fouling are continuing across the county. Dog wardens are working hard to educate the public on responsible dog ownership and patrol problem areas, issuing on the spot fines to anyone who is spotted failing to pick up after their dog.
Earlier in the year the council also launched a Green Dog Walker’s Scheme, a community-led programme to reduce dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership across the county.