Dog Fouling - Frequently Asked Questions

I have a complaint about dog fouling, what can I do?

Council Officers, the Police and Community Wardens are authorised to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to any person they believe has committed an offence under the Act.

Our Community Safety Section will accept complaints relating to dog fouling and will make contact with the dog owner to prevent a recurrence of the practice. Tel: 0300 123 4561

Report dog fouling

Where does the dog fouling legislation apply?

The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 applies to any public open place. Public open place is defined as “any place which is open to the open air and to which the public or any section of the public has access on payment or otherwise” and “any common passage, close, court, stair, back green, yard or other similar common area”. Land that is used for agricultural purposes is exempt.

Are there any exemptions?

There are a number of exemptions. A blind person in charge of a dog that is being used for that person’s guidance. A person in charge of a working dog being used for the tending or driving of sheep or cattle. The armed forces, customs and excise or the police force are also exempt but only when the dogs are working. Disabled persons in charge of a dog that has been trained to assist that person are also exempt but only if the disabled person has a physical impairment that affect their mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects.

There is no specific exemption for partially sighted people, the elderly or the infirm.  The act also does not contain any exemption from the offence for children under the age of 16.

Can we have some 'no dog fouling' signs please?

There are already many "no dog fouling" signs throughout Moray and we have to be careful about not creating eyesores from excessive signage. It also appears to be the case that few people take notice of the signs in the long term.

We are currently unable to provide signage, however if you contact your local Community Warden they may be able to provide posters in an affected area.

What if there are no signs informing me to pick up my dogs’ waste?

The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 covers almost all land open to the public with very few exceptions. Lack of signs is no defence if you are caught allowing your dog to foul and not removing the waste.

What can I use to pick up the waste?

Waste can be picked up using an ordinary plastic carrier bag since they are inexpensive and easily carried. There are many 'poop scoop' devices that can be obtained from pet stores, vets and other pet suppliers. 

What if there are no bins nearby?

Dog waste suitably wrapped in a plastic bag or similar can be disposed of in any litter bin or dog waste bin. If none are available nearby, you should be prepared to carry the waste home where it can be disposed of with your normal household waste. Lack of bins is no defence should you be caught leaving dog waste behind.

What can I do if I know of somebody who doesn’t clean up after his or her dog?

If you wish to report the matter it would help to take some details of the offender, the dog, and note the time and place the incident occurred. This information will be passed to our Community Wardens at the earliest opportunity, who will decide whether the matter can be taken further. The more accurate and specific the information that is provided, the greater the chance that this will result in a dog fouler being penalised. You can also report dog fouling online 24/7.

Where does the money from the fixed penalties go?

We keep all monies collected from fixed penalties. All revenue raised will be used to further improve the service we provide and ensure that our streets, parks and other public places remain clean, safe and pleasant places to be.

Would I be responsible if I’m walking somebody else’s dog that fouls?

Yes. The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 Act places responsibility to clear up any waste on ‘the person in charge of the dog’. This need not be the dogs’ owner. If you are caught allowing a dog to foul and not removing the waste you are liable for the offence regardless of who actually owns the dog.

Contact Us

Community Safety
Council Offices
High Street
IV30 1BX

0300 123 4561

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