Why police in Sheffield won't be picking up the horse poo left behind on Bramall Lane

The Steel City derby might have been and gone but there are still a few reminders of the huge event left around the city.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 11:16 am
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:45 pm
Police horses outside Bramall Lane - Credit: Dean Atkins

Around 500 police were drafted in help control both sets of rival fans; including armed officers and others on horseback.

While there were only 'pockets of trouble' between fans during the derby as well as just six arrests, the effect of the huge police presence is still being felt.

Residents living near Bramall Lane have taken to Twitter to complain that police horses stationed near the ground have left their mess behind.

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Sheffield resident Jack Weston asked Sheffield City Council when South Yorkshire Police would be clearing the manure and if they would face a fine.

However, South Yorkshire Police informed Jack that they were not responsible for clearing the mess and that their horses were not subjected to the same laws as dog owners.

By law, it is an offence for a dog owner not to clean up immediately after their dog in public places such as roads, estates, footpaths and parks.

Failure to clean up the dog mess can result in a £50 fixed penalty on-the-spot fine or prosecution of a fine of up to £1,000.

However, there is no law that requires people to pick up horse manure the way there is with dog fouling.

This means that mounted police, or any other person riding a horse for that matter, are under no obligation to clean up after their horses, even if it's on your street.

The British Horse Society said that it was 'virtually impossible' to predict where and when a horse will defecate, but is particuarly like to do so if it had been startled.

A spokesperson said: "Horse droppings can be a bone of contention.

"If possible, try to avoid riding where droppings are likely to give offence. For instance, if a bridleway goes through a children’s recreation area, stick strictly to the line.

"If a path has a hard surface that is used by people with wheelchairs, cycles or pushchairs, try if you can to move your horse so that the droppings fall onto the verge and do not clog the other path users’ wheels.

"It may be helpful to point out to complainants that horse dung is highly valued for compost, it can support biodiversity and droppings from healthy horses pose minimal risk to human health.

"On such routes it is much appreciated if riders are able to dismount and kick droppings to one side.

"Such behaviour increases the potential for new routes to include horses as dung is frequently given as a reason to exclude horses from off-road routes."