Primary pupils taking action on dog fouling

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Castle Douglas Primary pupils have taken action after being plagued with dog fouling outside the school.

Pupils, parents and teachers have been disgusted by the thoughtless few who fail to pick up after their dogs.

A report was made to Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Community Safety Team, which was asked to investigate how to improve the situation.

The school and the council have collaborated on a poster project to prick the conscience of those causing the problem. More than 190 pupils put colouring pens to paper to design a poster aimed at highlighting the problem their school faces.

Headteacher David Tyeson said: “Pupils, parents and staff have raised dog fouling as a major issue on the Safer Route to School. Large deposits are often found at the school gates. The pupils, through the poster competition, are doing their bit to highlight this irresponsible behaviour.”

Tesco Castle Douglas donated Easter eggs as prizes for competition winners and small chocolate eggs for everyone who took part.

The store’s Community Champion, Liz Hunter, said: “ I’m always looking for local initiatives to get involved in. The area around Castle Douglas Primary School has had many issues with dog fouling and it is something that blights the wider community.” Dog fouling is by far the most frequent complaint received by the council’s Community Safety Teams.

The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 states that it is an offence to fail to clean up immediately and properly dispose of your dog’s waste after your dog has fouled in a public area without reasonable excuse.

Councillor Archie Dryburgh, chairman of the DGFirst Management Committee, said: “Our Community Safety Officers continue to broadcast the message that dog fouling won’t be tolerated in our region.”

Diane McColm, Senior Community Safety Officer, said: “The local Community Safety Team will deal with all offenders by issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice.

“The penalty for the offence of not immediately removing dog fouling increases from £40 to £80 on 1st April 2016. We’re determined to stamp out this antisocial behaviour by the minority of dog owners that seem not to care.”

At a ceremony held in the school, the competition entries were viewed and judges had the difficult job of choosing winners and runners-up:

Primary 1-2: 1st Isla Telfer P2A, 2nd Ruby Hope P2A, 3rd Riley Pflanz P1D

Primary 3-4: 1st Mia Donnelly P4, Abbie White P3/4, Lexi Watts P4;

Primary 5, 6&7: 1st Brooke Walker P6/7, 2nd Georgina Mae White P7, 3rd Kelly Malcolm P5.