‘NO Fouling!’ is the message from Scottish Borders Council in the latest dog fouling campaign which will run over the summer months.
Attention is being drawn to keeping sports pitches, school playgrounds and parks dog-mess free, especially during the summer when children are out and about playing more than usual.
Councillor Len Wyse, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “Our ongoing dog fouling campaigns are about appealing to dog walkers to be responsible and pick up after their dogs.
“Dog fouling should not be a problem anywhere but it’s especially important that sports pitches, school playgrounds and parks are kept clean because that’s where our children play and we need to protect their health as they are vulnerable to the diseases that dog faeces carries.”
Dog faeces carries a number of diseases, particularly ‘toxocara canis’ which can have an impact on young children especially.
Toxocara canis is a roundworm found in dogs. Roundworm eggs are found in dog mess, which can easily be picked up by young children.
This causes stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and in rare cases blindness.
The eggs can remain active in the soil for many years, long after the dog mess has weathered away, which is the reason it is so important for dog owners to pick up after their dogs.
Public places to which the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 apply include the following: children’s play areas and sports pitches; pavements, footpaths, cyclepaths and roads; pedestrian precincts and car parks.; all grass verges; parks and other recreational areas and cemeteries and burial grounds.
Under the 2003 act, anyone who doesn’t clean up after their dog faces a fixed penalty of £40 which can go up to £60 if not paid within 28 days.
Offenders can be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may be fined up to £500 if convicted.
To report dog fouling anonymously call freephone 0300 100 1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.