Pick up after your pets

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The vast majority of Midlothian dog owners are responsible enough to clean up after their pet.

Data compiled by the local authority revealed that around 93 per cent of owners picked up after their dog had fouled.

Resources will now be used to target the seven per cent of irresponsible owners who fail to clean up after their pets.

Midlothian Council operates a zero tolerance approach to reduce dog fouling. This campaign has been strengthened by an increase in the number of fixed penalty notices issued.

During 2011, 18 fixed penalty notices were served on dog owners and some cases have been referred to the Procurator Fiscal.

Eleven notices were issued in 2010, and two cancelled on appeal.

Offenders face a fixed penalty fine of £40 which increases to £60 if the fine is not paid within 28 days.

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act came into force towards the end of February.

There were 19 complaints concerning out of control dogs between then and the end of 2011.

Environmental health officers intervened, providing advice and information, which meant the complaints did not escalate.