A dramatic pilot poster campaign urging dog walkers to clean up after their pets has more than halved the incidence of dog fouling on agricultural land.
The results of the work will help NFU Scotland’s efforts to have agricultural land incorporated into the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003.
NFU Scotland, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, has concluded the pilot study carried out on farms which have had persistent problems with dog fouling. Four sites on agricultural land - two in the Pentlands, one in Dumbarton and the other in Motherwell - were monitored by NFU Scotland and Keep Scotland Beautiful over a six week period to assess the impact of high profile posters in the vicinity.
The results showed an overall decrease of 52.1% in the incidents of dog fouling recorded over the duration of the project, across all four sites.
Under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003, it is an offence for a person responsible for a dog to leave the dog dirt in a public open space, but the legislation currently excludes agricultural land. This exclusion of agricultural land has real implications for farmers and land managers who must deal with the impact of dog dirt on their land. As well affecting the quality and safety of crops, animal health is a major concern.
Neosporosis can result in miscarriage in cattle and sarcocystosis can be responsible for neurological disease and death in sheep. Dogs are important vectors in the lifecycle of both these dangerous parasites and owners picking up after their dog can help to reduce the risk of disease spreading.
NFU Scotland members encountering problems with dog fouling on their land should contact Penny Johnston on 0131 472 4021 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org