Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dog Poo - the Highland Council's campaign and a few observations

Below you can see a sign that is to be found on the riverside walks warning of a £500 maximum fine for not picking up doo poo. The sign is out of date however and refers to the Civic Government Act 1982, according to a recent Highland Council dog poo campaign press release the fine now is: "a fixed penalty of £40, which rises to £60 if the penalty is not paid within 28 days" and comes under legislation entitled Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003.

Just do a search of the Gurn for "dog poo" and you will see how people are very much annoyed by those citizens (a minority of dog owners) who still leave doggie jobbies lying in popular parts of town and now there is also the increasing minority sport of picking up the dog poo in a bag and tying it to a bush or tree or leaving it in some other prominent position. The latter is a very curious practice indeed but it does go on. Every Community Council meeting in Nairn seems to end up with dog poo being discussed at some stage and there is now a clamour coming from the citizenry in Nairn and elsewhere in the Highlands  for their elected members to act.  

Thus the Highland Council state on their press release:
"A new poster campaign has been launched in the Highlands to remind dog walkers that people who do not pick up after their pets have fouled will be issued a fixed penalty notice. The posters also encourage the public to work with the Council in helping to track down persistent offenders.

The new signs give members of the public information on how to quickly report dog walkers who break the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003. They are appearing at locations across the Highlands where dogs are walked regularly. If a person witnesses someone not picking up after their dog has fouled, they are urged to call the council on 01349 886606 to report it." More information here. 

As we mentioned the Civic Govt Act Dog Poo minutiae was superseded by the 2003 legislation. You can examine the 2003 legislation here. We contrasted recently the maximum £1,000 fine for the offence in Durham with the £40 penalty here in the Highlands (Article here).   What is interesting however is information contained on the Borders Council website re the 2003 act:
"If you do not clean up after your dog, you face 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."
It is interesting then to see that there is still the £500 option there. This observer wonders how or why it might be possible to report an offender to the fiscal. Does there need to be special circumstances?  Again another snippet from the Borders Council site: "A number of SBC staff and the Police can issue fixed penalty notices."
Now our police force has got plenty to do but maybe at some point they might be able to work with the council to have a blitz on the jobbie offenders in Nairn?  


Anonymous said...

From the 1982 Act, to the 2003 Act, to today, how many filthy minority dog pooing persons have been given fixed penalties or fined? Don't bother putting in a FOI request, it will be ZERO when it could be 1000's. The problem enforcing the legislation is the need for a human to regularly patrol the area. That costs money. Increase the Council Tax, simples!!!!Who agrees with that,otherwise, keep a brush and bucket of water at your back door.

Time for change said...

Time to licence dogs again.

Some places already have something in place, see

But I would make it much, much tougher
All dogs to be microchipped and DNA sample taken with a price tag on the licence that would allow DNA testing of dog poo, and also enough money collected through licenses to employ 24/7 dog wardens. Owner ID much like a driving licence with an onus to keep it updated with the likes of address etc

All dogs on leads after dark, at least then the owners would be able to see what their dogs are up to

All too easy these days to own a dog and be an irresponsible owner, time that some positive action was taken, and yes I know everyone reading this is going to object and say 'I'm a responsive owner'.

Well there's too many people who aren't, and I would like to be able to walk around without looking at my feet all the time case be I squelch through some dog mess

Anonymous said...

As a dog owner myself,I get so annoyed about this dog fouling issue.

I honestly believe that a major factor is the people who allow their dog of the lead, the dog often gets out of sight and dog fouling takes place.

I see this all to often,and would not be adverse to dogs being kept on extended leads in public places.

My dog is only let of the lead in secure areas, and always in my sight so that I am aware of her fouling.

It is so disgusting when our lovely walks along the seafront, riverside, and east beach walking areas are spoilt by the not so few fellow dog owners.

I appeal to my fellow dog owners? please help keep our town and our walks poo free, respect our town and if nowt else ourselves as responsible dog owners.


Enough said...

@ Time for change

is right, all dog owners should be totally responsible for their dogs, and why should non dog owners have to pay the price of dirty streets and paths? Beyond that it's all of us who pay for any sort of dog warden and bringing anyone caught to court, so pay a license that covers all of these costs

As for dogs on leads, nice idea but I've watched owners as they let their dogs foul whilst on their leads and not pick it up. Having been threatened I no longer say anything

Anonymous said...

If my child ran up to folk and knocked them over, and then defecated in a public place I would fully expect to be brought before a court of law and face punishment for not keeping him/her under control, and yet it seems if you're a dog owner your chances of being caught and punished when your dog does this is pretty slim.

Am I missing something here, I know we're kind to animals in the UK but the dog issue is getting out of hand

Anonymous said...

There is a dog owner in achareidh who picks up the dog poo in a bag, then leaves the bag on the ground.

What is all that about....

D. Ross said...

@ Anon 10:26Pm

Couldn't have put it better myself!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the measures taken much further. Spitting in public places for example is disgusting and yet no one talks of that. And what about rubbish and littering? Irresponsible parents must be setting bad examples for their children. If young people cannot be trusted not to drop litter and behave in public then they should not be let out. And what about bird poo and horse poo that is never cleared up. Then there's the disgusting habit of supermarkets and shops Sainsbury excepted who sell food but do not provide hand washing facilities at the entrance to the food store. Then there is all the coughing and sneezing in public which is gross. Chewing gum is ghastly stuff.

disgusting said...

@Anon 2:35

Can only suggest you stay indoors and avoid all our disgusting habits!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anon @2.35. There is a certain amount of hysteria when it comes to dog poo and, while I totally agree that it is disgusting and measures should be take to clamp down on the owner's, how about looking at the mess humans leave? Spitting is totally disgusting, as is vomit left after a night of over consumption, sneezing and coughing without covering your nose or mouth, not to mention the plastic bags, bottles, tins, fag ends, broken glass, and other assorted detritus. I don't contribute to any of these anti social activities but as a council tax payer I still have to pay up.

Anonymous said...

Why do we have a dog warden? Never once have i seen the dog warden round the river nairn where dog poo is every few yards.I myself am a dog owner & disgusted at some folk who refuse to pick up after their dogs even if i offer them a bag to do so,my solution pick it for them follow them home a post through their letter box,i bet they would pick it up then job done.