Communities across the region have been telling Scottish Borders Council that their approach to tackling dog fouling is not working, prompting changes to be made.
After looking at best practice across UK local authorities SBC has concluded that dog fouling needs to be tackled as part of a wider strategy on responsible dog ownership.
Part of the council’s new approach is to operate a 12 month pilot scheme, appointing an external contractor to issue dog fouling tickets through enforcement officers who will focus on known trouble spots. This will operate alongside a push to educate the minority of errant dog owners to change their behaviour, plus engagement with communities and volunteers to get them involved.
Since the council removed neighbourhood warden posts across the Borders over two years ago no fines have been issued to dog owners for not picking up after their pets,
In the 2014 household survey animal nuisance (noise and dog fouling) came top of neighbourhood problems and during 2014/15 the council received 446 reports of dog fouling (69 in Berwickshire, 38 in cheviot, 170 in Eildon, 106 in Teviot & Liddesdale and 63 in Tweeddale).
Acknowledging the need for the council to take action, executive member for environmental services, Councillor David Paterson, said: “During the extensive research carried out by council officers, it has become clear that in order for dog fouling to be tackled properly, a strategy around the wider issue of dog ownership is needed.
“Like many councillors, I know dog fouling is a major concern for members of the public and in the last year I have asked officers to consider a more robust way to combat the issue.
“I hope councillors will support this fresh approach and new strategy, which is being presented just weeks before the fine for those caught letting their dog foul is doubled to £80 on April 1.”
When the council meets on Thursday, February 25, they will be asked to approve the new approach to responsible dog ownership in the region.