Dog walkers could be fined £80 unless they carry two plastic bags

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Dog walkers face being slapped with fines of up to £80 if they are caught not carrying at least two poo bags under plans from one UK council.

Canterbury City Council has introduced the new measures, with enforcement officers set to approach dog walkers and quiz them on how many bags they are carrying while walking their pet.

The dog walker can then be fined if he or she is found to be carrying only one bag, unless they have a valid excuse.

According to the Times, the local authority has not issued tickets to anyone for failing to clear up dog poo since 2014-15 under the existing fines system.

The new stricter measures are set to be introduced next month.

The charity Dogs Trust criticised the move, saying that “encouragement of responsible dog ownership” would be more effective.

But Canterbury City Council said the additional powers will allow officers to combat “persistent offenders”.

A Dogs Trust spokesman told the Times: “We welcome any initiative to discourage dog fouling. However, we believe education and the encouragement of responsible dog ownership is much more effective than handing out fines.”

According to the newspaper, Daventry District Council, in Northamptonshire, which introduced the same measures last year, has yet to issue a single fine with all pet owners complying with the rules.

A spokesman for Canterbury City Council said: “Although dog mess is no more of a problem in Canterbury district than it is anywhere else, it is something that really annoys people and the danger to public health is very well documented.

“As part of our approach to try and reduce dog fouling and encourage responsible dog ownership, we will be requiring people to demonstrate they have the means to clear up after their pet.

“As a rule of thumb, we’d expect people to be carrying at least two bags that can be used to dispose of dog excrement. If they do not have these, they could receive a fixed penalty notice.”

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