Pick up dog poo or face £500 fine says Kirstie Allsopp
TV presenter calls for 'hardline' approach to pet owners who let dogs foul the street
DOG owners who don't clean up after their pooches relieve themselves in the street should be hit with a £500 fine or community service, TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp has said.
Allsopp, an ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy, says that while dog owners often pick up their pet's faeces, they then leave the plastic bag containing the poo hanging from a tree or fence. In an interview with The Lady magazine reported by The Times, she called for a "hardline approach" to the problem.
"It should be a £500 fine for leaving dog mess in a public place," Allsopp said. "And if you can't or won't pay, you should have to give up some time and do litter picking for four Saturdays or four Sundays."
Allsopp gave short shrift to dog owners' complaints that there aren't enough bins in which to deposit doggy-doo. She said owners should take their pets' mess home if there was nowhere else to put it.
"You don't just poo in the street because there's not a loo there," Allsopp said. "There are things that we think are acceptable and unacceptable and I think dropping litter should move from the acceptable to the unacceptable."
The Telegraph points out that dog owners caught failing to clean up after their pooch currently face fixed penalty notices ranging from £50 to £80. Those who "repeatedly flout the rules, and those who refuse to pay", can be taken to court, where they face fines of up to £1,000.
Allsopp, 42, is a dog lover herself. She adopted a border terrier puppy this year after the death of her 15-year-old terrier, Foxy.
Warming to her theme, Allsopp said the UK spent £1bn a year clearing up litter and the money could be better spent on health services.
"How many vulnerable adults could we help, how many mental health nurses and home visitors could we employ for £1 billion? I do not pay my taxes to have litter picked up; I pay my taxes to help vulnerable people," she said.
She added: "There are a lot of votes in litter. If you mention it on Twitter, you get a huge response. So I have never understood why the past two governments haven't got a grip and realised that it's important to people. It seems a no-brainer to me. Who would stick up their hand and say, ‘I would like a filthy street'?" ·