Let's put the bite on these foul acts

DOG owners do not need special training to be pooper scoopers on behalf of their pets.

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It's simple, surely, to pick it up as they go along.

Unfortunately, selfish owners prefer unsuspecting saps to collect it on the soles of their shoes. Or worse.

Dog mess can induce something nasty called toxocariasis. It leads to blindness in children.

Dogs soil 6% of Scottish streets, which sounds not a lot, but I would wager everyone reading this has sidestepped it (or not!) on their pavements or local green belt.

My street dates to the 1860s. It is tree-lined dog heaven, not street-light friendly.

Only one side has a pavement, which becomes a minefield for the unwary, who must share it with the twice-a-day dog walkers and assorted strays.

And have you noticed how dogs out on their own always stick to the pavements?

Funny, the foxes round our way prefer the road. They must be allergic to dog dirt.

Locals who know better – or more likely want to avoid accident No 2 – copy the foxes.

Dog dirt gives me irritable bowel syndrome. It's a pet hate, along with this mucky city's litteratti, and car drivers who empty ashtrays on the road.

When our two boys were young, they were encouraged to leave their shoes at the front door when they came home. For brownie points, naturally.

But they forget, don't they? We have never had beige carpets since.

Keep Britain Tidy makes the weighty claim that 1000 tonnes of dog poo is dumped on the UK every day- 10% of it in Scotland.

How does it know? Have you had a sniff of anyone tramping your pavements with bathroom scales?

Almost 70% of Scots claim dog fouling disgusts them more than any other litter mess.

Yet last year Glasgow – already the nation's litter capital – handed out just 637 fouling fines.

A conviction rate of just over 5%, when you consider they also sent 11,590 warning letters.

Fines start at £40 – and I would be interested to know how many were paid – but even the £500 maximum does not deter some.

But there is no excuse, none, for not picking up after your pet. And lack of bins is no defence for dumping poo bags, or for that matter any other kind of litter, on our streets.

One of the problems is that it is difficult to catch them in the act (dogs, not the owners).

Before it became a council problem, it required two police officers to "witness a dog fouling in a designated banned area".

Well, most dog dirt will be local. Get the DNA of persistent offenders with those wee mouth swabs, prosecute anti-social owners and make them pay for the expense.

I reckons that is a wee jobbie for CSI (the first letter stands for Canine, you can guess the rest).

And if they won't pay fines? I hear the Koreans have effective debt collection methods!

n TALK dog dirt and someone always condemns the mess police horses leave behind.

The difference is, horses are herbivores. They may become meat, they don't eat it, which is why you can safely shovel manure on to your rhubarb.

Cops charged Glaswegian Francis Kelly with breach of the peace. He thought one of their nags "looked hungry" and tried to feed it a sausage roll.

Think lead-free fuel in a police car that runs on diesel.

The case is a waste of money, say critics. Heathy Eating campaigners have come out in support of the horse.


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