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Environmental Health

Orkney Islands Council's Environmental Health team has the task of identifying and controlling anything in our environment that poses a risk to the health and well being of people living in our community.

Their remit includes the places we live in, the food and water we eat and drink, the air we breathe, and the places where we work or enjoy leisure time. The Council’s Environmental Health officers provide advice and information on all of these issues and have extensive powers to ensure health is protected, maintained and improved.

All Environmental Health pages can be accessed from the 'More pages in this section' menu.

Spotlight on: Dog fouling

Dog fouling - failing to pick up your dog's poop from public places - is an offence. Not only is dog poop unsightly and smelly - it carries very real health risks.

A photo of a dog owner cleaning up after their pet.

The Law

The Dog fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 makes it an offence for any person in charge of a dog not to immediately remove and dispose of its fouling in an appropriate manner. This applies to all public places including:

Failure to pick up may result in the issue of a fixed penalty notice. This is currently set at £80. This rises to £100 if not paid within 28 days. Offenders can also be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may be fined up to £500 if convicted.

Health Risks

The main danger from dog fouling is Toxocariasis which is caused by worm eggs being ingested. The eggs can still infect after lying dormant in the ground for 12 months or so. This is why the waste should be removed straight away. The symptoms vary but, in severe cases, partial or total loss of sight may occur.

What you can do to help

The best thing you can do to help is to be a responsible dog owner by cleaning up after your dog - and encourage friends and family to do the same.

Information from the public can be used for targeted dog-fouling patrols. When reporting instances of dog fouling, it is useful if you can let us know the following:

All complaints will be treated in confidence.

Other Information

Dog bags are available, free of charge, from libraries, police stations, veterinary surgeries, Council offices and many local stores. If you don’t have a dog bag, use a carrier bag. This should then be placed inside a dog bin or a public litter bin. If this is not possible, take the bag home.

The majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pets, but if you do witness a dog-fouling offence, contact Environmental Health at Orkney Islands Council. 

To report a dog fouling offence, contact our Environmental Health team by email on or phone 01856 873535 ext. 2801.

Related Links

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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