A recent dog mess campaign created by pupils at Papdale Primary School appears have had the desired effect – with a 43% decrease in complaints to Environmental Health about dog fouling immediately after the campaign launched.
The ‘Bag That Poo – Any Bin Will Do’ bin-sticker campaign highlighted to the public that bagged dog waste can be placed in regular waste bins as well as the dedicated red bins.
In 2015/2016 there were 58 complaints made and this fell to 33 in 2016/2017 with the campaign launching in the summer of 2016.
Early indications are though that complaints are on the rise again – suggesting that some dog owners are still not clearing up after their pet.
The Council’s Environmental Health service continues to receive complaints regarding dog walkers failing to pick up after their dog or dumping their filled green bags outwith available bins – particularly around some of Orkney’s beauty spots like Happy Valley and Hoxa.
David Brown is the Council’s Environmental Health Manager. He said: “The initial decrease in complaints would suggest that the campaign had some degree of success – but we’re still continuing to receive complaints particularly about some of our most treasured beauty spots. We’re also aware of ongoing discussion on social media about the dog fouling in Orkney and so we must be mindful that these statistics may represent an under-reporting direct to the Council by the public.
“Dog waste is not only disgusting, smelly and unpleasant to remove from shoes, pram wheels and carpets – it’s also dangerous. Dog poo can carry a disease called toxocariasis that can cause severe problems to human health and is particularly dangerous to young children – as contact with faeces can cause partial loss of sight or even blindness.
“The majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pet – but there’s that small minority that just aren’t getting the message.
“Not cleaning up after your dog is illegal. It is an offence for any person in charge of a dog not to immediately remove and dispose of its fouling in an appropriate manner – even if they were off the lead at the time. This applies to all public places and communal areas. Dog walkers caught out for not cleaning up will be subject to a fixed penalty notice which is currently set at £80.00.”
If you witness an offence, you can report it to Environmental Health at Orkney Islands Council on 01856873535 or by emailing email@example.com as soon as possible after the incident with as many details as you can i.e. where, when, description of dog and owner.
Free dog bags are available from various outlets including OIC Customer Services, Papdale Stores, Orkney Library and Petmania in Kirkwall and from the Warehouse Buildings and the Red Cross Shop in Stromness.