The number of fines issued for dog fouling in Carmarthenshire have almost doubled.
Council environmental enforcement officer issued 63 fixed penalty notices for £75 during 2012/13, compared to 32 the previous year.
The increase is the result of targeted patrols and more information from the public on hotspot areas and offenders.
Dog fouling is a major concern for the public and is a top priority for the council which pledged to get tough on dog fouling as well as litter following the 2012 elections.
The ‘Dog Watch’ scheme, launched last year encouraged residents to report incidents so that officers could target areas accordingly.
A total of 542 dog fouling complaints were received – 243 in the Llanelli area, 170 in Carmarthen and 129 to the Glanaman depot.
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “Dog mess is a real blight on the local environment. Not only is it extremely unpleasant if you step in it, but the eggs found in dog faeces can carry toxocariasis which if passed to humans can cause all sorts of health problems, including blindness.
“That’s why picking up after your dog is so important. The eggs do not become infectious for at least two to three weeks, so it’s safe to clean it up straight away when walking your dog.”
Figures show that dog mess is found on about 14% of streets and 57% of parks and open spaces in Wales.
Anyone caught failing to clean up after their dog in a public place can be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £75 or prosecuted in court where the maximum fine is £1,000.
Cllr Jones added: “We don’t want to fine people, but if they fail to take notice of our warnings then we have no choice.
“I would encourage the public to keep on reporting incidents to us as officers can then use that information to target specific areas at specific times. If the message gets out that the general public can take direct action to report offences, dog owners are far more likely to behave responsibly.”
To report dog fouling in your area visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/dogfouling or call Carmarthenshire Direct on 01267 234567.
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