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Focus on dog fouling in Caithness (20/10/09)
Recent enforcement action in Caithness has seen seven fixed penalty fines issued by The Highland Council in a matter of weeks in a clampdown of dog walkers who do not clean up after their dogs.
Dog Warden, Anne Macdonald, who also deals with stray dogs as part of her job, has been working on joint enforcement patrols in Caithness with Area Education and Enforcement Officer James Sanderson.
She said: “Recent reports of someone allowing a dog to foul in a Caithness cemetery is bad enough and then to leave it on the ground is an offence that will earn the culprit a £40 fine. This could rise to £500 if not paid on time. It is only a matter of time before the culprit is caught.”
James said: “It is not always easy to catch dog fouling offenders but those that do not pick up after their dogs risk receiving substantial fines. Just knowing that we are out and about actively looking for irresponsible dog owners will hopefully also act as a deterrent to those that should know better. If anyone is aware of an area where dog fouling is a regular occurrence then I encourage them to report it to us.”
The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 is the key legislation which empowers the Council to issue fixed penalty notices. Anyone identified as failing to clean up after their dog is liable to receive a fixed penalty of £40, which rises if not paid within 28 days.
Caithness Civic Leader Councillor David Bremner is pleased that the council was cracking down on those allowing their dogs to foul. He said: “Although there are many dog owners who are responsible and do clean up after their pets, there are also others who behave irresponsibly and break the law on dog fouling. Dog fouling is completely unacceptable and creates not only an eyesore for locals and visitors but is a very real health hazard.”