Dog owners could be hit with a whopping $175 fine if they're caught without a poo bag while walking their pet.
The council in the English county of Nottinghamshire has introduced a new rule for those that “flout the rules”.
Under the changes, council wardens will be able to ask those walking a dog whether or not they have the “means to pick up” their mess.
If they don’t, and they fail to pay the fee to Rushcliffe Borough, they could be taken to court and slapped with a $1,757 charge.
It’s not the first time a UK council has kicked up a stink with dog owners.
The new measure, introduced last week, follows similar rules brought in by councils in Somerset, Devon, Lancashire and Derbyshire.
They’re all part of the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) first introduced in 2014, and have left a foul stench for many dog lovers.
“We are concerned that these measures could see otherwise conscientious owners punished unfairly,” Dr Ed Hayes from The Kennel Club told the Telegraph.
“For instance, if they have already used the necessary bags, or given a bag to someone else, as encouraged by Green Dog Walker schemes.”
Others claimed that “punishing the masses for the actions of a few” was not the best approach.
“Encouraging dog owners to pick up after their dog is something [we will] continue to campaign for,” a spokesperson for the Dogs Trust said.
“However, we believe education and the encouragement of responsible dog ownership is much more effective than handing out fines, specifically if dog owners are confused and unaware of the PSPO.
But Rob Inglis, from the Rushcliffe Borough Council, said it is “keen to protect residents from any of the issues dog fouling raises.”
“We’re aware the vast majority of dog owners take their responsibilities seriously and these new powers are there to tackle the minority who flout the rules including those who routinely don’t carry bags to clear up.”
Back home, Australia has some of the strictest laws around animal waste.
In Melbourne, a Bayside City couple was hit with a $200 fine for not having a poo bag on hand.
While failing to remove dog faeces in Sydney could cost Randwick residents as much as $880.
In Perth, leaving dog poo in public areas can incur a $200 fine.
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