Ban on dogs running free in play areas to prevent fouling could be introduced

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The law currently requires dog owners to pick up their pet's faeces and dispose of them. Credit: ITV News

A ban on dogs running free on sports pitches and play areas could be brought into law in Scotland.

It is after the latest Scottish Borders Council meeting, where members unanimously agreed to tackle dog fouling.

They described the act as "a very annoying and persistent type of anti-social behaviour".

Scottish Borders Council is lobbying the government to support their request for the policy to become part of the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003.

The law currently requires dog owners to pick up their pet's faeces and dispose of it, but there is no law in place to prevent dogs defecating on the open space areas.

If the Scottish government follows a motion from Galashiels Liberal Democrat councillor Hannah Steel, it would make it an offence to allow dogs to poo on sports pitches and play areas.

Cllr Steel said: "The ongoing problem of dog owners and walkers allowing their dogs to defecate on sports grounds and play parks is unacceptable and something really must be done to stop it, it’s long overdue."

Conservative councillor for Kelso Tom Weatherston said: "We are not saying we want to see dogs banned from the whole park, but we need to make it clear, in the 21st century it's not right that dogs are fouling on sports pitches and children's play areas, and that’s what we’re trying to change.

"Unfortunately even the most responsible of dog owners cannot effectively remove all traces when they are clearing up after their dog. As well as this being anti-social, it also carries a risk to health."

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