Fife Council officers could soon be asked to investigate the introduction of new byelaws which would make it an offence for dog owners who are not carrying poo bags, allowing them to pick up after their dog. The want to introduce this as they believe the fines that can be requested from dog owners and dog walkers is currently too low.
The tactic has already been used by local authority areas elsewhere, where dog walkers or dog owners who fail to pay a £100 penalty within seven days face prosecution and a possible more punitive £1,000 fine.
Figures revealed in the Kirkcaldy area that there were only three fines issued between April and September this year, even though 75 complaints were received.
Councillors believe that because the chances of being hit with a fine in Fife is so low, that dog walkers continue to go ahead and walk dogs without the bags to hand.
Any such measure in Fife would have to be well thought through, as some pet owners found without a bag and subsequently fined had claimed that they had already used a bag and disposed of it responsibly.
Dawn Jamieson, from Fife Council, said: “At present, issuing on the spot fines for dog owners not carrying poop scoop bags is not something we can enforce.
“The enforceable offence under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 is if the owner fails to immediately remove the faeces.
“We’ll consider any and all ideas that could discourage dog fouling, but we rely on the public coming forward and reporting instances of dog fouling to the council.
“Information that helps us to identify an offender and the best time to catch them walking their dog is very useful.”
Dog fouling incidents can be reported online at www.fifedirect.org.uk/dogfouling or by contacting 03451 55 00 22.
You can of course, not have to worry about poo bags, and hire a dog walker in Fife by clicking the link or filling in the care request below.
And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.