Dog fouling could cost owners more than £150

Saturday, 10th March 2018, 9:42 am
Updated Saturday, 10th March 2018, 9:53 am
Bag it and bin it  but most of all do not pick it up in a plastic bag and then throw it away. Picture: contributed

Dog walkers who bag up their pet’s poo and leave it hanging in trees and bushes could face a double whammy of fines totalling more than £150.

The issue of abandoned dog dirt, both bagged and au natural, is a growing menace everywhere – on pavements, in the countryside and on beaches.

This is despite the fact that failure to clean up after your pet is an offence, with the penalty not long ago raised from £40 to £80.

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Now anti-litter campaigners are warning that those who bother to wrap up their animal’s waste but then don’t dispose of it properly could potentially be hit twice.

Carole Noble, from Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We believe that those who bag their dogs poo and then leave it behind or throw it into the bushes or trees could be fined £80 under two pieces of legislation – one for dog fouling and the other for littering

“Scotland has a problem with dog fouling. It is the most offensive and one of the most complained about forms of waste on our streets, beaches and parks.

“Dog fouling is dirty, unpleasant and concerns all of us, no matter where we live. It’s time we all fought back against the menace of dog fouling, whether unbagged or bagged and in trees.

“Our message is simple – grab it, bag it and bin it. Any bin will do.”

Not only is it messy and smelly, canine excrement can pose a serious health risk – both to humans and to livestock.

A resident in the west of Edinburgh has expressed horror at the problem, which he says is blighting his neighbourhood and contaminating the local environment.

The 50-year-old, who did not want to be named, says the scale of the issue is even more obvious at this time of year, when many trees are bare of foliage.

Numerous bags of excrement can be seen hanging from shrubs along a public path in the suburb of East Craigs, which is popular with dog walkers, cyclists and families.

“Now that the lighter nights are with us and the leaves are not yet on the trees I was disgusted to discover something which must have been happening for months over the winter,” he said.

“I find it incredible that this can happen in an age where it is frowned upon to put your shopping in a carrier bag, yet some people think it is acceptable to discard dog mess in such a way that it ends up hanging from trees.”

Farmers are also urging people to pick up after their pooches as some of the diseases found in dog faeces can be passed on to cows and sheep.