Foul behaviour 'should lead to ban for dog owners'

PEOPLE should be banned from owning dogs for life if they let them foul on public land, according to a survey of the public.

The poll by Keep Britain Tidy shows 76 per cent of respondents share the same hard-line view.

While the Keep Britain Tidy campaign doesn't back such drastic action, it says the results show the level of public disgust with dog owners who allow their animals to turn parks, beaches and pavements into canine toilets.

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Alan Woods, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "Because we know the health dangers of dog dirt and how unpleasant it is when it ends up on your shoes, we despise fouling in public places and those who allow it to happen.

"While we don't believe that the threat of taking away someone's pet is the answer, we can understand the anger that drove 68,000 people to complain to their local authority last year."

Councils are now catching more offenders than ever before.

Virtually every authority which responded to the survey now employ Dog Wardens, with town halls handing out more than 7000 on-the-spot fines to errant owners last year. Keep Britain Tidy said campaigning messages have also got stronger.

Posters, picturing a real dog poo under the strap lines, "No", "Bull" and "Tough", have also been put on bins recently. Mr Woods said: "Put simply, owners need reminding again and again of the need to pick up after their pet."