Dog walkers could be fined 100 for leaving home without a poo bag, under new rules introduced by a council.
The powers, which came into place on 1 December, mean owners could be charged regardless of whether their pet fouls.
Daventry District Council says ensuring poo bags are carried is not “unreasonable” to stop a “minority of persistent offenders”.
But Lee Paris, from the Dogs Trust, said the approach was “a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.
The Northamptonshire based council insisted owners should have to prove how they would clean up after their dogs to cut down on the problem of fouling.
‘Irresponsible dog owners’
Those who fail to pay the 100 fine could face a penalty of up to 1,000 if the case is taken to court.
Mike Warren, health and housing portfolio holder for the council, said: “This new order gives us greater powers to take effective action against those irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after their pets.”
The two council enforcement officers will not have powers of stop and search, but under the new Public Space Protection Order it will be an offence to not produce a bag when asked.
The council added fines “are not in place as a money-making scheme” and that 73% of the 834 people who responded to a consultation were in favour of the plan.
Bur Mr Paris said: “The overwhelming majority of dog owners do pick up their dog’s mess.
“We’re unclear how such a blanket policy, which is likely to require significant resources and enforcement, will be effective in reducing the instances of dog fouling in Daventry.”
Read more: www.bbc.com