Fine for dog fouling doubles

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Dog owners face a bigger fine for not picking up after their pets.

The Scottish Parliament has doubled the fixed penalty for the offence from £40 to £80 to bring it in line with a litter fine.

The change has been brought in after a Scottish Government consultation on responsible dog ownership received an overwhelming response in favour of the move as nearly a third of people said in the 2013 and 2014 Scottish Household Surveys that animal nuisance – dog fouling or animal noise – is a common problem.

The Dog Fouling (Fixed Penalty) (Scotland) Order 2016 takes effect on April 1 this year.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, but also can pose potentially significant risks to health, particularly for children, and we’re very clear that dog owners who do not clear up after their dogs are breaking the law.

“We believe the increased penalty will act as a greater deterrent for people who do not take responsibility for their pets and clean up after them.

“Our public consultation has shown us that we have public opinion behind us in an effort to get tougher on dog fouling and to tackle an issue that affects all too many communities across the country.”

The Scottish Government also wants to bring in a more robust system to collect unpaid penalties.

Chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful Derek Robertson said: “We welcome the doubling of the fixed penalty notice for dog fouling, a measure supported by 63 per cent of people asked in a YouGov Poll commissioned by Keep Scotland Beautiful in August 2015.

“Increasing the fine to £80 is a positive step in the right direction and will send a clear message to irresponsible dog owners that their actions have a negative impact on people and communities.

“However, increased fines form only part of the solution and that is why we are leading a national stakeholder group to develop an action plan on the issue.”