Dearth of dog fouling fines prompts call to take tougher action

JUST one person received a fine for not cleaning up after their dog throughout the whole of January.

And the Hawick News can reveal that, for the month, Scottish Borders Council’s dog wardens handed out only six fines throughout the entire region.

As well as one in Hawick, there was one each in Galashiels, Peebles and Kelso, and two in Greenlaw.

Referring to this area in particular, Keith Taylor, senior SB warden said: “Two wardens cover a range of issues across the Teviot and Liddesdale area, and issue tickets where and when they see an example of dog fouling. If a member of the public has any concerns about a specific area, they should phone 0800 376 1030 and we can add that area to a list of ‘black-spots’, which our wardens can check out.”

Complaints about dog fouling escalated over the festive period, with the wintry weather apparently acting as a deterrent for dog owners to life their pet’s mess.

The issue is also regularly raised at meetings in the town.

The local authority said that six people in the Borders were “advised” after failing to pick up after their dogs, one bag was given and there were 424 pick-ups witnessed during January.

And despite the low number of fines Mr Taylor believes the message is getting across.

He added: “It should be noted that, across the Borders in January, our team witnessed over 420 instances of dog owners picking up after the pets – which shows many people are getting the message.”

However, local councillor Davie Paterson believes offenders are getting off too lightly and has called on more people to be trained up to tackle the problem.

He told the Hawick News: “I would stop giving people bags. If they fail to pick up and are walking away from the mess that their dog has left then that is a criminal act.

“I think sterner action has to be taken to eradicate this age old problem.”