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News article created on 14 June 2013

Dog walkers asked to take the lead

We are appealing for dog owners to stop littering the Rochdale Canal in the Calder Valley with dog mess as we start a campaign to tackle this huge problem.

Dog fouling is becoming a huge problem for us along this section of canal Karen Jackson, environmental scientist

We are working with Calderdale Council, the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Group and local business Weir Minerals who supplied some dog bins, to encourage people to clean up after their pets following an increase in dog mess which is blighting the canal towpath.

Part of national ‘The Big Scoop’ campaign led by Keep Britain Tidy and the Dogs Trust, specialist contractors and volunteers will be de-pooping the towpath along the Rochdale Canal on Friday 14 June between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

Karen Jackson, environmental scientist at the Canal & River Trust said: “Dog fouling is becoming a huge problem for us along this section of canal despite a number of dog bins in place people are still leaving dog mess along the towpath. Our message is simple, if you’re a dog owner visiting the canal clear up after your pet and bag-it and bin-it and help us care for this beautiful canal landscape.”

To help combat the problem, enforcement officers from Calderdale Council are patrolling the canal towpath and will hand out on the spot penalty fines for people who leave their dog mess on the canal towpaths.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said:

“We are glad to be working with the Canal and River Trust to tackle dog fouling. Over the past two years, authorised Council staff have been patrolling the side of the canal from Todmorden to Brighouse in response to an increase in complaints about dog mess on the towpaths. They have issued £80 fines to numerous dog walkers who either haven’t put their dog’s mess into a bin or have flicked the mess into the canal – both of these are offences. One of the nine offenders was subsequently taken to court, prosecuted and fined £352.”