Fines to protect ‘beautiful area’

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DOG owners who fail to clear up after their pets could face fines of up to £1,000.

The fines, proposed to be introduced at Aspal Close Nature Reserve, Beck Row, may be extended to other problem areas in the district if they are successful.

Residents and users of the close and nature reserve have long complained about the amount of dog mess in the area.

The mess, which can cause blindness, has proved a particular problem during large events such as last month’s jubilee celebrations.

As a response, it has been proposed that a dog control order be put on the area allowing fines of up to £1,000 to be given to those who fail to clean up after their pets.

PCSO Bob Bailey, of the Brandon Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “It is a shame we have to consider going to these lengths to keep such a beautiful area clean, however, this is clearly a matter that concerns local residents.

“If and when the Dog Control Order is introduced by Forest Heath District Council, dog owners will need to be aware that they will be issued with a fixed penalty notice if they do not clean up after their pet.”

If a Dog Control Order is implemented in the area it will be enforced by local PCSOs.

A spokesman for Forest Heath District Council said: “Dog waste can contain a range of bacteria which can lead to infections as well as certain parasites which can cause health problems in humans.

“Dog fouling also has a significant ecological impact on the site which supports extensive areas of lowland acid grassland, a nationally important habitat type that is particularly associated with the Brecks.”

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said that dog mess carried Toxocariasis which, if transmitted to humans, can cause eye disorders, including blindness.

The proposal will go before Forest Heath District Council cabinet on July 12 and if approved will go before full council for final approval on September 26.