Sports pitch dog ban motion ‘not lawful’

Dog Fowling
Dog Fowling

A Kelso councillor has been forced back to the drawing board with his plans to get dogs banned from all of the region’s sports pitches.

Councillor Tom Weatherston (Kelso and District, Con) saw his motion seeking a ban declared incompetent at the May meeting of the full Scottish Borders Council.

Council convener Graham Garvie (Tweeddale East, LD) told the session that legal advice had indicated the motion would not be lawful.

“So I must move that the motion is incompetent, although I am sure we are all sympathetic to what Councillor Weatherston is trying to achieve,” said Mr Garvie.

Mr Weatherston has since reviewed the relevant section of the dog fouling legislation.

He said: “It says the new act overrides any by-laws regarding dog fouling and a dog can foul in an open space as long as the owner picks up, but I’m exploring another angle that will possibly stop a public nuisance taking place.

“It may be there’s nothing I can do, the way the law stands, but I will never accept it is fine for dogs to foul on sport pitches.

“Sometimes it’s just not possible to clear up the mess with a plastic bag, yet our children and others are expected to play sport on these surfaces.”