Dog mess crackdown as fines double

Pet owners will be required to have their dogs microchipped by April 2016. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Pet owners will be required to have their dogs microchipped by April 2016. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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Dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets will face a fine of £80 from 1 April – double the current fixed penalty rate.

The change, supported by the majority of responses to a Scottish Government consultation on dog ownership, brings the penalty for dog fouling in line with the fine for littering.

Nearly a third of people said animal nuisance, including dog fouling or animal noise, was a very or fairly common problem in the Scottish Household Surveys of 2014 and 2013.

As well as increasing the fixed penalty, the Scottish Government is also working with local authorities to consider how more unpaid penalties can be collected.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, it can also pose potentially significant risks to health, particularly to children. We are clear that dog owners who do not clear up after their pets 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.

“This is an issue that many people feel strongly about and affects all too many communities. Not only are we increasing the penalty but we are also working with local authorities to look at ways to make sure that fines are properly collected from those who have chosen to break the law.”

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, added: “Dog fouling is at its highest level in a decade in our streets and open spaces, so we welcome the doubling of the fixed penalty notice for dog fouling.”

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