Dog fouling

In our recent research into public attitudes to littering, almost 7 out of 10 people rated dog fouling as the item on our streets, parks and beaches that bothered them most.  And, with around 820,000 dogs in Scotland, producing over 100,000+ tonnes of excrement per year, it’s easy to see why we have a problem. 

Not cleaning up after your dog is also illegal as a result of The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003.  In 2016 the fixed penalty for leaving dog fouling was increased to £80, and can in some cases lead to conviction and a fine of up to £500.

In addition to being a nuisance to pedestrians and walkers, dog fouling can also be dangerous to people’s health.  The biggest risk is an infection from the roundworm which spreads toxocariasis, symptoms of which include dizziness and nausea, but in worse cases, eye damage and seizures.

What you can do:

  • Follow the golden rules: Grab it, bag it, bin it. Any bin will do.
  • If you see someone allowing their dog to foul and if you feel safe, politely but firmly encourage them to clear up after their dog. Offer them a bag if you happen to be carrying any.
  • If you don’t feel that you can approach someone, report dog fouling to your local authority - particularly if you know who is letting their dog foul regularly.
  • If you are inspired to tackle and monitor dog fouling yourself, contact us for advice on how to develop your own campaign.
  • Download a poster and display it, with permission, to raise awareness of the issue locally.

What we’re doing:

  • We are working with other stakeholders to ensure that dog fouling is tackled in a strategic and coordinated way. With delegates representing a wide body of organisations, from community groups to The Dog’s Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage, we are developing an action plan to ensure that dog fouling remains as a priority.  
  • We continue to monitor more than 14,000 sites a year to identify problems, and trends in dog fouling and other environmental issues and we work to raise awareness of the problems and propose solutions with key stakeholders.

Case Study: Dog owner’s trick to cut down on litter on streets

Marion Montgomery, a primary school teacher from Stonehaven, started the group Paws On Plastic after noticing how much litter was lying about when walking her Labrador, Paddy.

The idea behind Paws On Plastic is simple: dog owners will often take spare bags with them while out with their dogs, dogs are also fond of picking up bottles, owners are encouraged to put them in a spare bag and recycle them at home. Taking action, and completing a #2MinuteCleanUp when you’re out is simple, everyone can do it.

Marion, 53, said: “It was inspired by my dog. They go and pick up bottles and once your dog has picked up a bottle it’s hard to leave it there."

In the short time since the campaigns launch, they have more than 10,000 supporters on their social media channels! 

The group encourage people to join in and post photos of their dog with the litter they’ve collected. It's great to see so many cute dogs helping us Clean Up Scotland!

Get involved and follow Paws On Plastic on social media by searching for the group on Facebook.

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