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Dog owners urged to clean up

[Monday 31 January 2011]

Craven District Council and British Waterways have joined forces to tackle the problem of dog fouling in Skipton.

Thanks to irresponsible dog owners, walkers along the canal path in Skipton often find themselves faced with a dog fouling obstacle course. In just a 50 metre stretch of the path from Brook Street swing bridge the Council’s dog warden spotted 53 piles of dog poo.

British Waterways, who are responsible for 2,200 miles of the country's canals and rivers, are working with the Council’s dog warden to target the culprits. Such is the problem along the canal that they are planning to draft in a team of staff to clean up the area. However, both British Waterways and the Council agree that the problem is caused by irresponsible dog owners.

Councillor Paul Whitaker, Lead Member for the Environment at the Council, said: “Dog owners are often creatures of habit, taking the same route every day. It could be just one dog owner who is responsible for the mess – bearing in mind that one dog could foul twice on their daily walk and that mess isn’t picked up it would mean 60 piles of waste in a month. You can see how the problem quickly builds up.

“Anyone who walks along the canal path can see the culprit not picking up after their animal. Just one phone call to the Council’s dog warden could put an end to the problem.”

Paul House, waterway supervisor for British Waterways, said: “We’ve invested thousands of pounds in trying to combat the problem of dog fouling on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. It’s unpleasant for our visitors and a continuing problem that we face, so it is hoped by tackling the issue with the council, we can make a real dent in the problem.

“We are keen to encourage more people to come and use the waterways, including dog owners, as the canal network is an excellent way for people to enjoy the local environment, but this needs to be done so responsibly for the benefit of everyone.”

The Council has the power to issue fixed penalty notices of £50 for anyone who doesn’t pick up after their dog. The culprits could face being prosecuted and a possible fine of £1,000.

To report someone for dog fouling ring the Council’s dog warden service on 01756 700600. Calls can be taken in confidence, but we will need details such as date, time and location of the incident. The dog warden will be able to increase patrols in a problem area based on the information you provide, in order to target the culprit.

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