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Case 255 - Council staff not allowed to tackle dog fouling in children’s play area

Issue

A Council were requested to clean up multiple dog fouling from an infants play area, however, the Council replied using the following unjustified health and safety reason for not clearing up the dog fouling "Unfortunately, the Council's grounds maintenance team are not allowed to tackle dog fouling by hand (including spades) for health and safety reasons."

Panel decision

In this case those most at risk from the behaviour of irresponsible dog owners are children. The Council is right to encourage owners to clean up after their dogs – and the steps they are taking to keep dogs out of the play area are sensible. However, saying that their staff cannot clear up the mess for health and safety reasons is incorrect. Any risks to adults from clearing up after dogs can be easily managed by simple precautions and good hygiene.

2014-03-17