Dog walkers urged to clean up in the countryside

Farmers want dog walkers to be responsible and clean up after their pets.
Farmers want dog walkers to be responsible and clean up after their pets.

A national campaign has been launched to get dog owners to clean up their acts while exercising their pets in the countryside.

The Scotland-wide campaign to get dog walkers to pick up after their pets on agricultural land follows successful discussions with farmers, politicians and other stakeholders.

NFU Scotland intends to submit a petition to the Scottish Parliament to have agricultural land included, with provisos, in the Dog Fouling Act 2003 and to include police and local authority enforcement powers within the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

Parasites found in some dog faeces, which if eaten or passed onto the livestock, can result in the abortions of cattle and death in sheep with several reports over recent months.

During discussions it was established that the issues caused by dogs are Scotland-wide. The farming union will now organise a petition and carry out a member’s survey to gain opinions on the matter and build up case studies to then present with the petition to the Scottish Parliament in due course.

Christine Cuthbertson, regional manager, said:“Dog mess can cause very serious ill effects in cattle and sheep and I would urge people to clean up after their dogs. Dog owners should also be mindful that dogs can cause considerable distress to pregnant animals or cows and sheep with lambs and calves, so they should be kept under control on a lead or avoided all together, both for the protection of the livestock and themselves and their dog.”