A new action plan, expected to approved at next week’s meeting of the council’s environment committee, will include a ban on dogs without leads being allowed into the city’s cemeteries and an increase in the number of officers authorised to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for dog fouling offences.
Ken Laing, the council’s director of environment, states in a report to the committee: “There are a minority of irresponsible individuals who cause significant and negative impact on the city’s parks and open spaces and the enjoyment and safety of other users. This can be as a consequence of owners not picking up dog litter, dogs not being under proper control in respect of the location and in more extreme cases aggressive or dangerous dogs.
“All complaints received are followed up through the use of the appropriate statutory instruments available to the Council. Complaints regarding dog fouling are responded to on an operational basis and the information gathered can be used to target future intervention actions.“
As part of a programme to promote responsible use of the parks and open spaces, a number of measures are being proposed aimed at focusing on promoting responsible behaviour by dog owners and emphasising the negative impact that dog fouling and lack of control has on other park users.
Mr Laing is recommending that the council should: increase the number of officers authorised to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for dog fouling offences; bring forward proposals for implementing a registration scheme for professional dog walkers to ensure that appropriate controls are in place; engage in promotional campaigns encouraging more responsible use and civic pride relating to parks and open spaces, and promote a “Code of Conduct“ for dog owners.
He is also urging the council to develop and promote the use of a pilot “dog walking trail” within one of the city’s parks.
Councillor Craig Melville, the convener of th committee, said: “People in Dundee enjoy our clean and green open spaces with enthusiasm. I want to ensure that the actions of a minority do not spoil it for everyone.“
He continued: “As part of our ongoing efforts to stop dog fouling blighting our parks, I am keen that more officers from the environment department can issue fixed penalty notices. I am sure everyone will agree that it’s imperative for the council to use every power at its disposal to make sure that those who spoil the environment pay the price for their selfishness.
“The city council provides bins across the city, and dog fouling bags are available free of charge from libraries and other facilities. There is simply no excuse.
Councillor Melville added: “I want this proposed action plan to signal that Dundee is a dog-friendly city, but owners have to show responsibility.”