New restrictions on dog fouling in Leeds parks will be put in place next month - which could leave pet owners out of pocket.
New restrictions around littering, smoking in children’s play areas and dog control will come into place in Leeds next month, Leeds Council says.
The council announced today: "From 1 July 2018, anyone walking a dog will be required to carry a bag or have some other way to pick up and remove their dog’s mess, as well as there being additional locations within the city where dogs will be required to be placed on a lead.
"Dogs will also be prohibited from Leeds City Council owned tennis courts and multi-use games areas."
It means that if you don't have a bag with you, you're facing an on the spot fine of up to £150.
But if you don't pay the fine, you could theoretically be referred for prosecution. As Gov.uk says: "You can be given an on-the-spot fine if you don’t clean up after your dog. The amount varies from council to council.
"If you refuse to pay the fine, you can be taken to court and fined up to £1,000."
The statement from Leeds Council added: "This builds on the previous dog control orders that included the dog wardens powers to ask owners to put a dog on a lead (where it is causing a nuisance) and the maximum number of dogs that can be walked at any one time (six for professional walkers and four for others).
"Fixed penalty notices of £100 are also to be introduced to enforce an earlier prohibition on smoking in children's playgrounds.
The recommendation was made following extensive public consultation around tackling litter and to act as a better deterrent to people dropping litter. The fine also affects the unauthorised distribution of free printed material, flyposting and graffiti."
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City’s Council’s executive member for the environment, said:
“Keeping the city tidy and free of mess is a priority for the council and we are therefore taking stronger actions against those that do litter or fail to clean up after their dogs and lead to the complaints regarding the city’s cleanliness.
“We don’t want to have to fine people, so it is a simple case of doing the right thing, putting litter in the bin and picking up their dog’s mess.
“With regards to the controls around dogs, the primary aim is to encourage good habits, therefore we will allow a three month introductory period where we will be educating dog owners as to their responsibilities, rather than penalising people for innocent mistakes.”“With the co-operation of residents, visitors and businesses, we hope to see a great improvement throughout Leeds resulting in high standards of cleanliness.”