COUNCIL plans to introduce fines for dogwalkers caught without poo bags have divided Lancashire Telegraph Readers.

The fines will form part of council-proposed legislation for Blackburn with Darwen to clean the streets and reduce the number of complaints they receive about dog mess.

A consultation has been launched into the plans, which will form part of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

If approved, the order will also ban dogs from play areas and insist dogs are kept on a lead in cemeteries.

Anyone caught breaching the order will face a fixed penalty notice of £100.

Contributors to the Lancashire Telegraph website readers praised the council for taking action over ‘irresponsible dog owners’ who allow their dogs to foul without picking it up.

Nomatesbilly said: “At last the council is doing something sensible for a change along with dealing with litter louts.

“The responsible dog owners that allow their animals to foul on pavements and elsewhere do not seem to understand the health problems they cause.”

Saintlan 3 said: “The action of irresponsible dog owners is a huge problem.

“They should be ashamed of themselves for being so lazy and idle they can't be bothered to pick up their dog's mess.

“All dogs should be banned from all playgrounds and recreation fields, there’s plenty of other places for dogs to go for a walk."

However, some commentators questioned how the council planned to enforce the legislation, with one reader suggesting it would be ‘problematic’, while others shared concerns over the fairness of on-the-spot searches.

Saintlan 3 said: “What would happen if a responsible owner is caught without a bag for the dogs waste as its already been used and disposed of?

“When walking my dog I always take a few bags but on occasions will have used them all before returning home.

“I can see the enforcement of this law being problematic.”

Some commenters felt the move would be a step ‘too far’ by the council and will affect responsible dog owners.

BuckoTheMoose said: “Oh come on. It’s one thing to punish people for actually allowing their dogs to foul, but challenging every dog owner to prove they have a poo bag is too far.

“It WILL affect responsible dog owners as they will be treated as criminals until they can prove otherwise, constantly challenged by jobsworths while about their business and breaking no laws.

“Too far council, too far”

raggedtrouseredphilanthropist agreed it was a step to far by the council, suggesting the proposed legislation was an attempt by the council to make money rather than tackle dog fouling.

He said: “Where will this totalitarianism end? Even the Tory accepts that this a draconian measure.

“The Council are going to be issuing these so called ‘fines’ for any perceived misdemeanour.

“This is all about raising revenue not changing attitudes."

Blackburn with Council are asking the public to share their opinion on the proposed legislation via the council website. The consultation will close on November 17 at 5pm.