Action needed to halt dog fouling in Cornwall

Councillor Edwina Hannaford (3rd from left) with dog owners In Looe posters having been put up informing people to clean up after their dogs

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Residents are calling for extra dog wardens in Cornwall to tackle the problem of fouling.

Cornwall Council said it received 600 complaints about fouling in 2011 and responded with 25 fixed penalty fines of £80 and one prosecution.

It added that it was training police officers and councillors to issue fixed penalties.

The council said it was difficult to catch offenders, especially in the dark.

Looe councillor Edwina Hannaford said: "A dog warden comes to Looe once a week, but they weren't able to say where that person goes.

"It's the places slightly off the main routes that people think they can get away with it, but if we don't see much of a dog warden maybe it's not acting as a deterrent."

In Bude, dog walker Dan Richardson said he believed there was a lack of wardens due to the large area the nine staff had to cover.

He said: "In the height of tourist season he manages to get here twice a week.

"Bude's a tourist area, we get very busy so it's not a lot to be coming down and off-season if he's here once a week it's lucky.

'Name and shame'

"His area's from Boscastle to the Devon border and across to Callington which is a large area for one person to be covering."

Kevin Brader, from the council, said: "It is notoriously difficult to catch people and the majority of the fouling occurs, especially at this time of year, in the dark which makes our job much more difficult."

Mr Brader said in a bid to improve the situation, the council was training people to issue fixed penalty notices in their communities and the department relied on information from the public.

He said: "I know it's difficult for people to name and shame their neighbours, and we need to make sure that the complaints are legitimate, but if there are details then we can pursue that line of investigation."

Cornwall Council added the team also dealt with stray dogs and of the 862 calls this year, only 78 had had to be re-homed, the rest having been reunited with their owners.

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