From the editor’s chair: Dodging the ‘minefields’ in so-called war on dog fouling

GIVEN that Hawick has earned the unenviable tag of being the ‘dog dirt capital’ of the region, today I’m throwing down the gauntlet to Scottish Borders Council: Get it sorted, and get it sorted now.

The fact that Teries have to dodge their way through ‘minefields’ of dog poo on a daily basis is an absolute disgrace, as is the pitiful amount of penalty fines – 13 in total so far this year – being handed out to the irresponsible owners who routinely flout the law.

There is one more disgrace: and that’s the abject failure of SBC to make inroads into eradicating this disgusting menace. And with this stark conclusion in mind, surely it’s time for a period of introspection at Newtown HQ. In particular, I think it’s right that I throw a critical spotlight on environmental services chief Len Wyse, because on what is his watch, our town continues to be mired in dog excrement.

But what is it going to take for the penny to drop, Mr Wyse?

Does a local child have to become one of the 100 youngsters a year partially blinded by toxocariasis before we see any kind of effective action from the council?

Of course, we could drastically reduce the risk of such an incident if our two dedicated wardens (and the 23 members of the parks and cleansing team who can also issued fixed penalties) could actually get to grips with the problem, instead of just scratching the surface.

We’ve all heard over the years that the council is declaring war on dog owners who allow their pets to foul in our streets and parks, but I can honestly say that I’ve never seen any evidence of such a ‘war’. Has anyone else? I very much doubt it.

Mr Wyse, we’re losing the battle on the Hawick front, and it’s time for you to rally your troops and take command of the situation.

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