Council launches campaign against dog fouling

The new campaign by Argyll and Bute Council.

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Argyll and Bute Council’s new anti-dog fouling campaign has been unveiled – but it’s not as hard-hitting as recently discussed.

Councillors had agreed to pursue an anti-dog fouling campaign at an earlier meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee in June.

One option put before the committee back then was a sinister-looking pair of eyes bearing a message that the authority would be ‘watching’ lazy dog owners who do not clear up after their pet.

The ‘we’re watching you’ campaign that a council committee decided against.

That initiative was created by the Keep British Tidy organisation.

A report for last month’s meeting said that the cost of pursuing this campaign would be £2,250 – enough for 40 posters – although it was not enough to provide one to every community council across Argyll and Bute.

Instead, the #makeyourpupproud campaign is now set to run for four weeks across social media, with council staff and members of the public having shared photographs and ideas.

Community councils will be offered free posters to be put up in popular dog-walking areas to remind owners to clean up after their dogs.

Council leader Robin Currie, who represents Kintyre and the Islands for the Liberal Democrats, said: ‘This is something I know most communities feel strongly about and we need to tackle it together.

‘Most people clean up after their dogs – we know this. We need to remind the one in 10 that don’t pick up that this just isn’t acceptable.

‘It is up to all of us to keep Argyll and Bute beautiful. What we want to do with our campaign is remind people of the social and health dangers that leaving dog mess behind can create.

‘I’m sure if more people considered the effect not picking up after their dog has on others, they would be more considerate.’

Councillor Currie is also chairman of the environment, development and infrastructure committee and said at its meeting in June: It is disgusting – we do not accept humans urinating in public places; why should we put up with dog fouling?’

Other councillors at that meeting weighed in, with South Kintyre Conservative Councillor Donald Kelly saying: ‘It is down to irresponsible people. We have been round the houses on this and it is not going to make any difference to them.

‘The only way around it is naming and shaming to ensure that the police, maybe for a period of time, allocate some police hours to coach people through the correct process.

Donald Cameron MSP, for the Highlands and Islands, backed the council campaign.

He said: ‘All elected representatives know only too well how many people are understandably upset by the very small minority of dog-owners who don’t seem to think they have an obligation to clear up after their pet.

‘And that’s why I welcome this imaginative scheme by Argyll and Bute Council which I very much hope will lead to a sharp reduction in dog-fouling incidents.’

Councillor Alastair Redman (Kintyre and the Islands Ward) added: ‘It’s sad to say, but even here on Islay, dog mess can be a real problem, so let’s all get behind the campaign and make our streets and footpaths more pleasant for everyone when we are out and about.’