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THE number of people making complaints about dog fouling in Renfrewshire has dropped by almost two-thirds during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Between the end of March 25 and the start of this week, Renfrewshire Council received just 40 reports, compared to almost 100 in the same period last year.

This is despite the fact dog owners have been taking their pets out for walks in parks and green spaces more often as part of their daily exercise during the pandemic.

In other areas across Scotland, such as South Ayrshire, people have complained about a spike in dog walkers abandoning mess on pavements since lockdown rules came into force.

Renfrewshire Council slammed irresponsible pet owners last month following a rise in reports of dog mess being left around graves at cemeteries.

But local authority bosses said they believe the impact of the council’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign may have contributed to a general reduction in complaints.

SNP councillor Natalie Don said the administration will continue to make tackling dog fouling a priority and thanked residents for taking a stand against it.

She said: “It is great to see dog walkers acting responsibly and taking pride in their area. The SNP have made dog fouling a priority through our Team Up to Clean Up campaign, which includes a targeted approach to dog fouling hotspots with spray paint messages, an increase in signage and the creation of a responsible dog owners pledge.

“This reduction, I think, could also be down to an increase in communities taking more of a stand against this irresponsible behaviour. No-one wants to see this outside their front door or in their street and communities are fighting back, whether that’s through word of mouth or on social media.

"With more people in their homes recently, perhaps these dog owners are more worried that someone will see them.

“The SNP will continue to make dog fouling a priority. If you witness irresponsible dog owners who fail to pick up their dog’s fouling, please report it to Renfrewshire wardens.”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign encourages residents to take pride in their area and organise community events to pick up litter and tidy beauty spots.

Despite the fall in dog fouling reports, people have been warned action is still being taken if a problem area is highlighted.

Anyone found flouting rules can be issued with a fixed penalty notice which must be paid within 28 days.

“As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to pick up after your pet and irresponsible owners caught in the act will be issued with on-the-spot fixed penalty notices,” a council spokesman added.

“We need to change the behaviour of owners who fail to pick up after their dogs, so please continue to lead from the front and work with us to promote responsible dog ownership in Renfrewshire.”

People should phone 0300 300 0380 if they see dog fouling taking place.

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