Increase in dog fouling prompts appeal from council

Aberdeenshire Council has received an increasing number of complaints about dog fouling across the region during the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

Thankfully the vast majority of dog walkers continue to be very responsible and pick up after their pets, but there are some who are refusing to ‘bag-it and bin-it’, resulting in unsightly and potentially harmful mess left on our streets and in public areas.

With more and more families continuing to enjoy daily exercise regimes including walking and cycling during lockdown, they are increasingly being exposed to the risk of disease and infection from dog waste which could put additional strain on an already stretched NHS.

It’s an issue which has not only been reported in towns and villages, but also in a number of rural areas where it also poses a very real risk to the health of livestock and wildlife.

Head of Roads, Landscape and Waste Services, Philip McKay, said

We have seen a significant rise in the number of people who are out walking their dogs while enjoying some welcome exercise during the pandemic and our thanks go to all those who continue to act in a responsible manner and pick up after their pets.

However it is vital in the interests of public safety that everyone bags any mess and disposes of it appropriately in a public bin or their own black-lid household waste bin when they get home. That is particularly important during a time of crisis when people are having limited time outdoors and our public services are severely restricted.

Staff across all of our services have demonstrated real resilience in retraining and relocating to support their colleagues within critical services. It is vital we all do our bit to act responsibly and ensure we keep our communities as clean and safe as possible to support our workforces during these very challenging times.

If you have witnessed a person allowing their dog to foul in a public area and not pick it up, you can report it to our Environmental Health service by calling 03456 081207.

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Details of the information required to investigate the offence can be found here on the Aberdeenshire Council website.

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