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Dog Fouling Fines (25/04/06)
Communities in Ross and Cromarty and throughout the Highlands are being urged to report stray dogs or dog owners who allow their dogs to foul the streets or play areas. The appeal comes from Area Convener Carolyn Wilson who says she is “absolutely disgusted” by the actions of some members of the public who allow their dogs to stray and foul the streets, play areas and open spaces throughout the area.
Current legislation means dog owners could face a fixed penalty fine of £40 it they fail to clear up their pet’s mess. Penalties, issued by either The Highland Council or Northern Constabulary, increase to £60 if not paid within 28 days. If they remain unpaid then the council will pursue payment through the court system.
These powers for local authorities are a result of The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 which changed the emphasis of the offence from allowing a dog to foul, to failing to clear up after it. There is no longer a need to have two witnesses to corroborate evidence and the Act can be enforced by an authorised council officer as well as the police.
Five fixed penalty notices have been issued in Ross and Cromarty over the last year.
Councillor Carolyn Wilson said: “Dog fouling has been identified in community surveys as being the major area of public concern and understandably so. I appreciate that most dog owners act responsibly but there is a minority who give no consideration to the risk dog fouling poses to others, especially the very young. Local residents have the right to expect streets and play areas to be clean and I would urge people to report any incidents of dog fouling to the police or to their local community works officer.”
Community Works Manager for Ross and Cromarty, Ian Hay said: “Dog faeces can harbour a variety of pathogenic bacteria and parasites which pose a significant risk to the very young. Toxoplasmosis for example can cause blindness. There is no excuse for people not to clean up after their dogs as anyone can pick up a supply of disposable bags free of charge from any of the council’s service points.”
Anyone wishing to report incidents of dog fouling in should contact Ross and Cromarty TEC Services on 01349 868440 or visit their local Service Point.
Next month Alness Community Partnership will be launching a special campaign in the town aimed at getting dog owners to clean up their act.