Monmouthshire County Council, along with Town and Community Councils, have held a dog fouling awareness day at Abergavenny and Goytre to reinforce the messages for dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Although most dog owners act responsibly and pick up any fouling by their pets in a public space, Monmouthshire County Council continues to receive regular complaints about dog fouling, which prevents the everyday enjoyment of green spaces.

A recent report of this was seen at Lower Meadow Sports Field, Abergavenny. Due to the amount of dog excrement on the field, King Henry VIII students could not partake in a recent rugby session. This complaint is common across the county from sports clubs, who frequently complain about the need to carry a bucket and shovel to pitches to clear dog mess before matches or training can begin.

On the day, little dog fouling was found, except in a cut-through alleyway from Pen y Pound to Chapel Road in Abergavenny, a regular walking route for at least one dog owner. As the clocks have now changed, the Council is gearing up for the number of reports to increase.

The awareness day coincided with the launch of the County Council’s consultation on its draft Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which will bring the way the County Council deals with dog fouling into line with other Welsh counties.

The draft PSPO proposes a number of controls to protect everyone’s enjoyment of open spaces and all public land in Monmouthshire. The draft PSPO has five proposed dog controls:

A provision requiring the person in charge of a dog to clean up after it, if it defecates in a public space. This will apply to all public spaces in Monmouthshire.

A provision requiring the person in charge of a dog in a public space to have an appropriate means (i.e. a dog poo bag) to pick up any faeces deposited by that dog and to show they have a bag(s) if requested to do so by an authorised officer.

A provision requiring the person in charge of a dog when in a public space to put the dog on a lead of no more than two metres in length when directed to do so by an authorised officer, where the dog is considered to be out of control or causing alarm or distress, or to prevent a nuisance.

The introduction of dog exclusion areas, identified through consultation as high public health risk areas and requiring further protection from dog fouling. These are typically children’s play areas, marked sports pitches and school/leisure centre grounds.

The introduction of a number of areas, identified through consultation on a case-by-case basis, where a dog needs to be kept on a lead of no more than two metres in length. These areas can include, for example, cemeteries and skateparks.

These rules will not apply to some disabled people, assistance dogs or working dogs such as search and rescue canines while they are on duty.

Residents are invited to respond to the consultation, which runs until November 25, here:

Monmouthshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Cllr. Paul Griffiths said: “I thank all dog owners who clean up after their pets. It was encouraging to hear that little fouling was found during the awareness day, but as the clocks change, we know reports will increase. It is the responsibility of everyone (if able) to work to keep our green spaces clean. Remember when taking your dog for a walk to take bags with you. Please take the opportunity to provide your voice on the current consultation. Your opinion matters to us.”