WALES NOW boasts higher penalty fees for dog fouling than England, thanks to a new Bill passed by the Welsh Assembly at the second attempt.
From the beginning of May, fixed penalty fines for dog owners who do not clear up after their dogs are increased to £75, compared with the £50 maximum across the border in England.
The hike was pushed at the behest of Environment Minister Carwyn Jones, who rejected suggestions to raise the fine to £50 in line with England. Mr Jones justified his action because of "growing concern over dog fouling in Wales".
It is believed, however, that only a minority of groups consulted by the Assembly over the issue in 2002 had opted for the higher figure. Tellingly, no canine organisation such as the Kennel Club had been consulted.
Even then, however, the original dog fouling Bill put forward by Mr Jones had to be stopped two days before it was enacted, due to its being incorrectly worded, and had to be rewritten and voted upon from scratch.
Welsh dog enthusiasts remained unimpressed by Mr Jones’ record, as he was memorably the Minister who gave the green light to farmers to obtain cash grants and subsidies to set up puppy farms in Wales. The plan has since faltered, thanks to pressure brought to bear on the Assembly via Alun Cairns, Assembly Member for South Wales West and Conservative Spokesperson on Economic Development and Transport, from the Kennel Club, Dogs Trust and other organisations, sparked off by a campaign instigated and led by OUR DOGS columnist Robert Killick who lives in Cardiganshire and has very little time for puppy farmers… or politicians.