Calls for more action to deal with troublesome dogs have come from concerned owners, afraid that they and their pets may be in danger.
The plea follows the Westminster Government’s proposal that anyone with a dog who kills faces a prison sentence.
Worried dog walkers in Stenhousemuir contacted a councillor saying there had been a number of incidents in their area in the last few months involving aggressive dogs attacking pets.
They called on Falkirk Council to set up ‘safe areas’, which would be fenced off for use by dog owners.
Highlighting the issue, Councillor Steven Carleschi said: “I have been contacted by many constituents who have experienced problems with dogs that have been allowed off the lead in public areas. I welcome any new initiatives in this area as it is an ongoing safety concern in communities across the Falkirk area.”
However, the local authority was quick to allay fears, saying there were relatively few issues with dogs and these were dealt with quickly.
In a letter to Mr Carleschi, area estates co-ordinator Mel Bryce said any complaints about dogs are handled by the community safety team who investigate and take action.
Where a dog is found to have been out of control, the owner will be served a control notice, which can include orders to keep the dog muzzled or on a lead. Since January four notices have been issued.
Mr Bryce said the idea of designated exercise areas had been considered but research concluded that, while it was a good idea, it brought its own problems.
He said: “The main concerns relate to overly-aggressive dogs within the exercise area and, when there are more than three dogs at any one time, there is a potential for dogs to try and become pack leaders. This can also lead to aggressive behaviour.”
Complaints regarding out of control dogs can be made on the council’s free anti-social behaviour helpline on 0808 100 3161.