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HEAVY FINES FOR IRRESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS

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Irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to foul in public places now face prosecution and a fine of up to£1,000 ...
Irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to foul in public places now face prosecution and a fine of up to£1,000 under new legislation.

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 took effect from Friday (July 23) and will allow the council's dog wardens to crackdown on the problem of dog mess.

Under the new act North Somerset Council has designated all open land to which the public has access as areas where owners must clear up after their dogs.

Some areas are exempt from the new law including woodlands, marshland and heath, agricultural land, rural common land, and roads with a speed limit of more than 40mph and land running alongside them.

North Somerset Council will be operating a fixed penalty notice scheme, similar to that used for parking tickets, which means offenders will not be prosecuted and face court if they pay a£25 fine within 14 days.

At first, dog wardens will be targeting known problems areas in North

Somerset using both marked and unmarked vehicles, in uniform and plain

clothes, and at times popular with dog walkers.

'There are many responsible dog owners in North Somerset who clean up after their pets. This new legislation is needed to help us crackdown on the selfish minority who continue to let their dogs spoil our open spaces for other people,' said Peter Bryant, vice-chairman of North Somerset Council's environmental services committee.

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