Campaign to tackle dog fouling a success

Published: Tuesday, 26th April 2016

An Oxford City Council campaign to encourage dog owners in Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys to clean up after their pets has seen dog fouling incidents drop 51 per cent.

The aim of the two-week campaign, which took place in February and March, was to make open spaces in Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys a better environment that everyone can use and enjoy.

Councillors, parish councillors and City Council officers were out and about, talking to dog walkers and handing out free dog poo bags.

City Council officers surveyed six open and public spaces (three in Blackbird Leys and three in Greater Leys) on two occasions before the launch of the campaign and found 39 incidences of dog fouling across the sites.

After the campaign, officers returned to the same sites on two separate days and counted a total of 19 dog fouling incidents – a 51 per cent reduction in incidents.

Last week officers again returned to the sites and found 24 instances of dog fouling, which showed – five weeks after the campaign finished – that improvements were still being seen at the sites.

The City Council campaign followed concern from local residents about dog fouling in Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys’ parks and open spaces, particularly Blackbird Leys Park and Gillians Park.

It is an offence for dog owners not to clean up after their pets. Owners can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice and, if prosecuted, a court can issue a £1,000 fine.

Dog poo can be placed in bags and put in dog poo bins, which are located at entrances and exits in all Blackbird Leys’ parks, or double bagged and put in litter bins.

David Growcott, Oxford City Council Neighbourhood Locality Officer for Blackbird Leys, said: “The scheme was really well received by the public. Both dog walkers and non-dog walkers were pleased to see us handing out bags and talking to people.

“Most dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets but hopefully we reminded some of those that hadn’t been doing so about their responsibilities.”

Oxford residents can report dog fouling, dangerous dogs and lost and stray dogs by visiting: www.oxford.gov.uk/dogs.