Dog Control


From the 16 July 2010 Cornwall Council introduced a dog fouling order that covers all of Cornwall to ensure all areas of Cornwall have the same levels of enforcement for dog fouling. This order has changed some of the areas that you are required to clean up after your dog.

You are now required to clean up after your dog has fouled (and properly dispose of it) when your dog fouls in any area which the public are entitled to have access to.

Failing to clean up after your dog has fouled will result in a fixed penalty being issued – which is for £80 (reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days) or prosecution where if found guilty you would face a maximum fine of £1000.

There is only a limited number of Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officers in Cornwall, but there are a number of other officers who are able to issue fixed penalties (many of which are not uniformed officers) as well as most PCSO’s – this means that there is a relatively high chance that you will be caught should you not clear up after your dog has fouled.

It is not an excuse in law that you were not aware of the fact that the dog had fouled – so you can be held responsible even if you did not see the incident, or if it is witnessed whilst the dog is straying.

If you would like to report dog fouling – we will investigate all complaints that are received – although the level of service that we can provide will obviously vary depending upon the quality of information that is provided.

For example we would be in a better position to take action should you be able to provide a full description of what happened (including date, time, location, what you witnessed, description of the dog/owner and as much information as possible about the incident – also any information regarding the offender – which could include name/address (if known), vehicle registration number or any other identifying feature.

You may be asked to provide a witness statement – although you will be provided with information and help with that and if the fixed penalty is not payed it is likely that you would be asked to attend court.

It is only with people getting involved and reporting problems in their neighbourhood that we will be able to solve more problems and take more enforcement action on issues such as dog fouling.

If you would like any more information or wish to report a problem, please either e-mail or telephone to talk to your local Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer on 0300 1234 212.

What is the law relating to dog fouling?
Dog fouling of a Right of Way may be an offence under a bylaw and the person responsible for the dog may be liable for a fine if they do not clear up after it . Dog fouling is an offence and a fixed penalty notice fee may be issued for not clearing up after your dog or even a prosecution resulting in a fine.
What can be done about a dog fouling offence?

If you wish to take action against a dog owner who has not cleaned up after their dog, you should note what happened as soon as possible. Include the name and address of the person in charge of the dog, a description of the dog, plus details of the date, time and place of the offence.

Contact Environmental Health and Licensing (0300 1234 212 or email and ask for their control procedures. Clearly describe the place being fouled to find what regulations cover that area.

Can I take a dog on a Public Right of Way?
Yes, a dog is considered a 'usual accompaniment' of a person on foot. Nonetheless this entitlement is confined to the line of the path and only exists whilst the dog is accompanied by its owner/ keeper. A trespass would be committed against the landowner if the dog is allowed to run off the definitive line of the path or if the owner/keeper stands at a gate and allows their dog to run free.
Must a dog be kept on a lead whilst on a Right of Way?
The law does not rule that a dog be kept on a lead whilst accompanied on a Public Right of Way. However, it does state that they must be kept under close control (see dogs and livestock below).
Dogs and Livestock
The 'Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act of 1953' makes it an offence to allow a dog to chase or attack livestock, or to be 'at large' in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep. 'At large' is defined as not on a lead, or otherwise under close control. Remember - A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing livestock. This gives added weight to the Country Code which states that you must 'Keep your dogs under close control'.
I can't use a path because of an aggressive dog, who should I contact?

Any dog which stands on a Public Right of Way and, by its 'threatening behaviour', prevents users from using the path constitutes a public nuisance and is, therefore, considered to be an obstruction. 'Threatening behaviour' may include snarling or running around the user barking in a threatening manner. Landowners and occupiers must ensure that such dogs are kept under proper control when in the vicinity of a public right of way.

What should dog owners do?

Responsible owners do not allow their dogs to foul public places. Ideally, dogs should be trained from an early age to 'go at home' in their own garden before or after a walk, rather than during. If dog fouling does occur away from home the responsible owner will clean up after the dog. A plastic bag can be used, or a special poop-scoop bags purchased from pet shops, veterinary surgeries or stores. Dispose of faeces in the poop-scoop bin or take the bag home. If this is not possible, as a last resort double-wrap the faeces in two plastic bags and dispose in a litter bin.

For more information contact ENCAMS (previously known as the Tidy Britain Group); e-mail: