We've been made aware of growing concern about the amount of dog mess on Scilly, particularly around St Mary's. Unsurprisingly, people who have been unfortunate enough to step in dog mess are angry, but it is also producing needless anxiety anyone wanting to enjoy the island’s public spaces. Aside from the basic nuisance, dog waste can be dangerous to health, with children being at particular risk. This situation is unacceptable and completely avoidable.
Just so there is no confusion: it is against the law for dog owners to not clean up after their dogs. Owners can be given a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice for failing to comply with a Public Spaces Protection Order and taken to court if that fine is not paid within 10 days. The maximum penalty on conviction is £1000.
We can issue a fine based on the interventions of our Dog Warden or from our Environmental Health Officers. The Council can also take action based on a statement from others such as the Police and even other members of the public.
Most dog owners take their responsibilities seriously by controlling and cleaning up after their pets. It is the minority of owners who are careless and are creating this problem for the rest of the community and the islands’ visitors.
Dog Control Officer and our responsibilities
The Council endeavours to keep public areas like parks, playgrounds and pavements clear of dog mess. We provide bins and have recently appointed a Dog Control Officer who will be visiting various areas at widely varying times to promote responsible ownership and ensure residents and visitors alike are taking responsibility for their dogs.
Education and enforcement are key elements of the Dog Control Officer’s role. The Officer acts on the Council’s behalf taking action where necessary, including issuing fines. This can be a difficult job and we ask that dog owners support the role by complying with requests.
Reporting a dog fouling problem
You can help the council by reporting incidences of dog fouling in public areas.
Call 0300 1234 105 or email email@example.com to report.
If you witness an incident, it’s important to also make a note of:
- Time, date and location of the incidents
- Description of dog
- Description or name of dog owner
- Address of dog owner if known
This information will allow Environmental Health to discuss the incident with you and consider prosecuting the offender.
Responsibilities of dog owners
It is an offence for any person in charge of a dog, which defecates on land within the Isles of Scilly (with the exception of Tresco) to fail to clear up behind that dog, unless:
- He/she has a reasonable excuse for failing to do so; or
- The owner, occupier or other person or authority having control of the land has consented (generally or specifically) to his/her failing to do so.
Bagged waste should be placed in a designated dog waste bin but can be placed in *any* public bin (except recycling bins).