Dog owners urged to pick up after pets

SCOTTISH Natural Heritage (SNH) has launched a new campaign urging dog owners to make sure they pick up after their pets while out and about this spring.

The national radio campaign, which began last week, focuses on the issues surrounding dog waste as part of continuing work to publicise access rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Kirstin Guthrie, SNH communications officer said: “Our radio campaign introduces the character ‘Jess’ - a wise border collie - who helps dispel some myths, as well as highlighting how not cleaning up after your dog can kill livestock and encourage other people to think badly of you and your dog.”

The campaign is also backed by the Kennel Club and Stephen Jenkinson, the organisation’s access adviser said that although most owners are responsible, some are still giving dog walkers a bad name by failing to pick up in places ranging from city parks and paths to informal tracks across fields in the countryside.

He continued: “Worse still, some owners leave bagged poo hanging from trees or on the ground. To reduce this problem, we want people to know that if there’s no dedicated dog bin, bagged poo can go in any general litter bin.

“We know some people may think it’s okay to leave their dog’s waste where farm animals graze, but this can spread disease which can kill sheep and make cows lose their unborn calves. Simply bagging it and binning it wherever you are prevents this needless suffering and protects your dog’s reputation.”

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code includes practical advice for dog owners on where they can go and what they can do and this becomes particularly relevant as spring approaches, when dogs should be properly controlled to protect young farm animals and ground-nesting birds.

Further information and downloadable access code leaflets can be found online at jessthedog.org.uk.