Letters: Introduce compulsory training for dog owners

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I have two lovely, albeit old and slightly grumpy dogs. My husband and I consider them our children. We wash them, feed them, cuddle them, and walk them. But while they are family to us, they are still dogs. And as such, they must use the toilet outside.

Now I agree that walking past (or worse, into) piles of dog poo is repulsive. I am angered when I see people watch their dogs defecate and then walk away, leaving it on the ground for unsuspecting pedestrians to step into it, and I have been known to say something to these inconsiderate citizens.

But I have done so only when I have seen evidence of such behaviour. I do not automatically assume that every person walking his or her dog is an irresponsible citizen, on the cusp of letting their dog poop in someone’s front garden, as do quite a few of my neighbours, based upon the uncomfortable conversations and outright confrontations that I have had with them.

I do feel that something could be done to encourage people to be better dog owners. For instance, why not make people pay an annual licence to own a pet, much like a car tag, and use the income from that to fund poo bag stands with receptacles throughout the city, as well as mandatory training for anyone who adopts a dog?

It doesn’t have to be much, maybe just £10 a year per pet, and the training can only be a positive thing for future pet owners.

After a couple of sessions of training, prospective owners may realise they aren’t cut out for the level of care a dog requires and may change their minds, leaving the dog for someone who is willing to be a truly caring and responsible pet “parent”.

So the next time you are out and you see people walking their dogs, don’t assume they aren’t good citizens.

Smile, say a kind word to their pets, and walk on.

However, you still might want to watch where you step.

Jennifer Beck, Edinburgh

Why not fly the flag after win?

The First Minister is derided by his opponents for holding up a Scottish saltire as a Scot wins the Wimbledon tennis championship.

If Mr Cameron were to hold up a Union flag it is highly unlikely those same people would be similarly vitriolic.

The debate on Scottish independence cannot surely have sunk to such petty levels that a Scottish victory can no longer be celebrated by unfurling our national flag. You cannot be serious!

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

A brief look at the Union Jack’s future

When independence comes, what do we do with all the many thousands of Union flags flapping around? Will it become illegal to fly them?

To abandon them would be a huge waste of good cloth. So maybe the SNP will have us put them in special skips and then recycle them into patriotic underpants? Would Alex Salmond wear a pair, I wonder?

John Addison, Roslin, Midlothian

An ill wind blowing if the Scots vote ‘Yes’

The real cost of wind turbine subsidies, which are added to electricity bills, is being revealed bit by bit despite the wind industries reluctance to “come clean”.

Scotland’s wind farms are getting £19,000 in subsidies every hour.

Developers have “harvested” £1.84 billion since 2002.

Since 2010 in Scotland developers have been paid £27.2 million to switch their off their turbines during storms.

They got another £20m when stormy weather was predicted.

Despite all this, CO2 emissions are rising.

We were sold the idea that turbines were green and provided cheap electricity which now is shown to be a lie.

The bulk of wind subsidies are paid out north of the Border, so what will happen if Scotland votes for independence? England and Wales will refuse to pay for Scotland’s turbine subsidies, leaving us with horrifically inflated electricity bills.

Despite this, Alex Salmond will continue to boast that Scotland has the best CO2 reduction targets in the world and he is saving the planet.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Orange Order doesn’t condone drunkenness

We were outraged to read that a “violent mass brawl [which] broke out on the Royal Mile” was linked by police to a procession arranged by this organisation (News, July 1). The Orange Order has not been made aware by the police of any such perceived connection.

At the time of the alleged incident the vast majority of our members were either travelling home or were a mile away in Regent Road.

They were not at or near the locus of the alleged incident on the Royal Mile.

The Orange Order does not condone drunkenness and is antagonistic to thuggery.

We utterly condemn the hooliganism which apparently saw “bottles hurled, punches thrown and one combatant kicked in the face” and hope that all those responsible for such depraved behaviour are speedily brought to justice.

Some 4,000 law-abiding citizens marched through the Capital on Saturday June 29 in an entirely peaceful and well conducted march: it is sad to think that this event was totally ignored by our local evening paper and that the only reportage was confined to a report of a fracas by youths unconnected with the event which occurred an hour or so later.

James G MacLean, Past District Master (Organiser), John Knox Orange & Purple District LOL No 5

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