Wigan Council has announced the launch of a new campaign to encourage residents to pick up after their pets.
The ‘Paws and Pick It Up’ campaign will aim to “crackdown on the small minority of dog owners who flout the law and spoil public spaces”, and the council will release bag dispensers and torches to all pet owners in the area.
The campaign’s launch follows a wider council campaign entitled ‘Our Town’, which is committed to tackling environmental issues throughout Wigan.
A recent consultation with local residents found that the “vast majority” were in favour of dog fouling enforcement across public land and for owners to always have dispensable bags on hand when walking their pets.
If approved next month, public space protection orders (PSPOs) could also cover dog fouling “hotspots” in the town, and forbid dogs from children’s play areas and sports pitches. It would also ensure that all dogs are kept on their leads in defined areas.
The council said that dealing with dog-related complaints, dog fouling removal, education and enforcement costs approximately £150,000 annually.
Councillor Paul Prescott, cabinet member for environment, said: “While the vast majority of dog owners in Wigan and Leigh are responsible people who pick up after their pets, there is still a small minority who leave the mess behind in places where children play.
“The latest feedback from residents tells us that dog fouling is a priority in the borough and one they would like to see addressed. It is every dog owner’s duty to clean up after their dog. There are no excuses, fouling is unacceptable.”