Two months into Bolton Council’s anti-dog fouling campaign, the effects are being seen across the borough.
Part of Love Bolton Hate Litter, which aims to raise awareness and educate people in changing their behaviours towards their local environment, the campaign highlights to residents the importance of cleaning up after their dogs.
The vast majority of feedback from both dog owners and the general public has been very positive, with most people welcoming the council’s efforts to change behaviour, and promote responsible dog ownership.
The campaign – which includes more rigorous use of enforcement as well as education – was launched in response to the fact that the council receives more than 500 complaints about dog waste each year. Also, a consultation carried out at area forums showed that dog waste was one of the top three concerns for residents.
Throughout March and April, council staff have been in Bolton town centre, Tonge Park, Queens Park, Moss Bank Park and Leverhulme Park handing out more than 7,000 bone-shaped dog bag holders, which people can use to cleanly dispose of their dog waste in any litter bin.
Staff have also been educating people and encouraging them to think of the consequences of dog fouling, which can include toxocariasis, an infection which causes epileptic fits and blindness.
In terms of enforcement, over the last two months, 20 £75 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued to dog owners, compared to an average of around two per month for the previous three years.
This increase in enforcement has been made possible by the introduction of new dawn to dusk patrols by enforcement officers in problem areas. The council has also enlisted PCSOs and park wardens to assist with enforcement.
Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, said: “This has been a major campaign, involving lots of hard work by a number of key staff, and the increase in both education and enforcement action is testament to their dedication and commitment.
“The hard work does not end here as we will continue to ensure that Bolton’s dog owners take responsibility and make every effort to keep the Borough as clean as possible.”