A SCOTS council has been forced to use CCTV to catch dog owners not picking up their pets’ mess.
Argyll and Bute Council has installed cameras in areas where dog fouling is a persistent issue to try and tackle the problem.
The council were forced to take drastic measures following an increase in dog ownership during lockdown resulting in higher numbers of dog foul.
Scottish Government legislation allows for £80 charge notices to people who fail to lift their dog’s mess as long as they are observed doing so, increased from £40 in 2016.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee last Thursday.
The meeting agenda states that: “Officers have successfully deployed CCTV at known locations where dog fouling is an issue.
“This acts as a deterrent and encourages dog owners to pick up their dog mess and behave responsibly.
The Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said that whilst Argyll and Bute scored above average in street cleanliness, “a small number of inconsiderate dog owners who don’t take personal responsibility to clean up after their pets does cause an issue in some locations.”
Dog fouling charge enforcement in Argyll and Bute is carried out by multifunctional wardens who patrol areas commonly used by dog walkers.
The meeting agenda claims that: “Our wardens’ presence in dog walking areas usually results in owners picking up after their dogs and very few penalty notices being issued and is therefore a highly effective deterrent.”
However, the number of full-time wardens has been cut by over half due to “reductions in the funding available to the Council.”
Councillor Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: “Most people clean up after their dogs – we know this. However, we want to remind the one in 10 that don’t that this just isn’t acceptable.
“Dog fouling isn’t just an eyesore in our beautiful towns, parks and beaches. It’s a potential health hazard, especially for children, and it can be particularly unpleasant for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.
“I’m sure if more people considered the effect not picking up after their dog has on others, they would be more considerate.”
“I know communities feel really strongly about this issue. We want to do something about it but we all need to act together.
“The council has limited resources so we need to target them effectively – so knowing where and when to send out our wardens would be helpful.
“If we have the evidence we need to take the appropriate action, we will.
“I will write to community councils personally to invite them to get in touch with us if they would like to work with us to tackle dog fouling in their local areas.”