Dog owners' initiative
Borderers are being asked to pledge to become a Green Dog Walker.
Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is the latest local authority to sign up to the initiative, which aims to change the attitudes of owners to dog fouling in a non-confrontational and friendly way.
By taking the pledge, owners agree to clean up after their dog and carry extra dog poo bags to provide them to those who do not have any.
They can also give a friendly reminder to other owners to clean up after their pet.
Those who sign up can then choose to wear a Green Dog Walkers’ accessory to ensure they are noticeable to all dog owners.
Green Dog Walkers - part of the Council’s new responsible dog ownership strategy - was launched in the Borders on Saturday 2 April as part of Dog Friendly Newtown, an initiative which aims to promote a healthy relationship with dogs in Newtown St Boswells.
Councillor David Paterson, SBC’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “The aim of the Council’s responsible dog ownership strategy is to tackle the issue of animal nuisance, such as noise and dog fouling, through education and enforcement.
“While we are in the process of appointing two enforcement officers, the Green Dog Walkers Scheme will help to educate owners and involve the community.
“Dog fouling is a disgusting health hazard but by signing up to become a Green Dog Walker you can help tackle fouling in a friendly and positive way.
“The new £80 dog fouling fine which came into force on 1 April should act as a deterrent to those who have previously not been willing to comply.”
Green Dog Walkers Scheme has received support from Keep Scotland Beautiful, which attended Saturday’s event.
Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Operations Director, Carole Noble, said: “We recently published a report which highlights that local environmental quality is in decline. We are seeing an increase in the number of sites affected by litter, dog fouling and graffiti across Scotland.
“In fact, dog fouling levels are at the highest they have been in a decade. We have called for national action to ensure that dog fouling is tackled in a coordinated way across the country, and are delighted to support Scottish Borders Council to help communities tackle an issue which we know is important to them.”
Falkirk Council started the Green Dog Walkers initiative, which now has 20 local authorities signed up, including 3,000 pledgers through the UK and Ireland.
To pledge to become a Green Dog Walker, or request a starter pack for the scheme, visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/greendogwalkers