A COUNCILLOR says ‘irresponsible’ dog owners should have their pets taken away from them by law.

Ribble Valley Cllr Ged Mirfin, who represents Billington and Langho, has called for more ‘severe’ punishments for dog owners who consistently fail to clean up after their pets.

In a poll the councillor posted on Twitter, 64 per cent of people agreed with Cllr Mirfin’s idea of taking pets away by law from repeat offenders.

The elected council member has also received calls, emails and messages about the issue of dog fouling from 16 people in his ward in the last five days.

Cllr Mirfin said: “People need to realise dog fouling is unacceptable and utterly horrible. It’s not difficult to carry dog bags and there are so many dog bins in the area.

“I think we need to be more severe with people who do not abide the law. A fine is not enough to deter them.

“One of the actions we could consider is to take their dog away from them. If people have their dogs taken off them where would they go?

“Large numbers of its animal charities to see if someone else who is or responsible can take them on.

“That’s all you want someone to look after animals who is a responsible pet owner and take responsibility in the widest possible sense. My plea is to clean up your dog mess.”

Dog walkers and charities said they thought the idea was ‘extreme’.

Steve Wood, who is the chairman of Hyndburn Stray Dogs in Need, said: “I think it’s the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard. I do not know any charity that would think this is a good idea.

“I have been a dog warden for 11 years and for me the problem on the enforcement side. There aren’t enough dog wardens.

“If you want to punish someone more severely make them do community service.

“Do not take the dog off their owners. Why should the dogs suffer because of the irresponsible owner?”

Clitheroe resident Penny Pitty, who organised the Let Leia Run petition against council proposals to insist dogs are kept on a lease in public spaces, said: “I think it’s the councillor’s idea is a bit extreme and would need a great deal of careful thought in managing.

“There are enough dogs that need rehoming at the best of times. I suppose the idea of community service to clean other people’s dogs would be a good start.”