John McLellan: Dog walker registration scheme may not be working

Commercial dog walkers can register with the city council. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Commercial dog walkers can register with the city council. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Amidst much fanfare four years ago, the city council became the first Scottish authority to launch a registration scheme for commercial dog walkers.

At the time, environment convener Lesley Hinds said signing up to the scheme would help set an example and minimise problems, but a few weeks ago a loose dog attacked a pet hen in a garden near Holyrood Park which had to be put down. It was just one of other problems caused by walkers in the Ulster Crescent area.

The council has revealed that only four complaints have been received since the launch, all were upheld, but no permits have been revoked. This indicates that commercial dog walking in Edinburgh is virtually incident free, which is hard to believe, or that the system is ineffectual.