Highland Council to highlight dog fouling problem

Almost 7 in 10 people rated dog mess as the item on our streets, parks and beaches that bothered them most; that is the finding of recent research into public attitudes to littering carried out by Keep Scotland Beautiful which is running a Dog Fouling Fortnight from the 30th September to 13th October.

The campaign, which is being supported by The Highland Council, aims to highlight the problem presented by irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to foul in public spaces.

Britain’s approximately 7 million dogs produce 1,000 tonnes of excrement per day and it is estimated that in a ten year lifespan the average dog produces half a tonne of poo! Dog owners are being urged to ‘Grab it, Bag it, and Bin it’
During the fortnight of the campaign The Highland Council dog wardens, enforcement and education staff will be patrolling identified dog-fouling ‘hotspots’ and engaging with owners to promote responsible dog ownership.  Fixed penalty Notices will also be issued to dog owners allowing their pets to foul without cleaning up. KSB are also asking anyone who would like to be involved to organise a dog fouling survey of their local park or pitch. The information gathered will allow KSB to formulate a better understanding of the problem.

Dog owners can face a fixed penalty fine of £40 (increasing to £60 if not paid within 28 days) for allowing their dog to foul in a public place. If the fine is not paid they can be convicted and end up paying up to £500. Not having a bag to pick up is not an acceptable excuse and dog walkers should never leave the house without a supply on them. The somewhat bizarre practice of bagging the poo but leaving it on the ground or hanging on a tree or fence is equally unacceptable and an offence under the legislation. Similarly owners who allow their dogs to stray face the same enforcement if the dog is caught fouling.

Councillor, Graham Phillips, Chairman of the Council’s TEC Services said: “I hope this enforcement action will encourage those antisocial members of the community who disregard the law to think again. Any help that the public can provide to help the Council target these people will be most welcome.

“Dog Fouling is not only unpleasant but also presents a health hazard. Dogs not treated regularly with worming pills can be infected with a type of worm that, if passed to humans, can cause disease. This national campaign will help to focus on a problem that affects all of our communities and will also promote responsible dog ownership.”

Information about the campaign and getting involved - also help and advice for dog owners about their legal responsibilities - can be found by visiting the KSB website: http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/environmental-quality/clean-up-scotland/get-involved/dog-fouling-fortnight/

30 Sep 2013