Your charity for Scotland’s environment

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 9 million dogs in the UK, producing over 1,000 tonnes of excrement per day, 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, download our We're Watching You toolkit to help to develop your own campaign.
  • You can buy our glow in the dark 'We're watching you' campaign posters for £25+vat by contacting us by email.
  • You can also create a "dog sharing station", where you encourage people to pick up their dog's foul.  You can see some examples of other communities bag sharing stations here.

What we’re doing:

  • We are coordinating a national stakeholder group 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.  
  • Our ‘We’re Watching You’ research, based on Keep Britain Tidy developments, with NFU Scotland, demonstrated a 50% decrease in dog fouling on farmland.