Spray campaign to tackle dog fouling

Monday February 22nd 2016

Gorebridge Primary Clean up After Your Dog

Members of the community and schoolchildren in Gorebridge have joined forces to tackle the scourge of dog mess on the town’s streets.

Leading the way is the Gorebridge Primary Parent Council and PTA in a campaign that has taken the form of spraying dogs mess with brightly-coloured biodegradable paint.

A member of the group explains: “Our intrepid volunteers braved the weather on a recent Saturday and sprayed bright blue an astonishing 275 incidents of dogs mess on the targeted streets.

“It is believed that highlighting the actual dog’s mess makes serial offenders recognise that their actions are being observed by their community. Such a realisation changes behaviour as offenders do not wish to be deemed as antisocial by the rest of their community. It also has the added benefit of making the mess easier to spot!”

Gorebridge Primary Parent Council and PTA became involved after being approached by local action group, Gorebridge Community Cares (GCC). GCC directed the PTA towards The Coalfields Regeneration Fund, where they successfully secured a small grant to run the project. Thereafter, the group gained permission from Midlothian Council, which needed to ensure the paint was safe to use and that the spraying would not interfere with any council business.

The campaign is still ongoing, and the group is intending to spray next month so that they can measure effectiveness. In addition, they have begun to discuss seeking permission from the council to extend action to children’s play areas. Feedback from the community has been hugely positive.

Debbie Denver, the vice-chair of Gorebridge Primary Parent Council and PTA, said: “There’s probably not a parent in the village that hasn’t had to clean muck off shoes and carpets, due to some disgusting and lazy dog owner. We want them to think about their actions and realise that being a part of this community means caring about it.”

And Debbie’s seven-year-old daughter, Isla, was none too impressed either: “If the park is full of poop, then I can’t play there and that’s not fair because then children can’t have fun.”

A spokesperson from Midlothian Council’s Environmental Health department said: “This initiative is being undertaken by a community group who fully discussed their proposals with Midlothian Council in advance of commencing their local campaign. We are pleased that the group is keen to join with us in the fight against the scourge of dog mess.

“In this campaign, the group indicated they are seeking to deliver the message that the local community want local dog owners to comply with the law and behave in a responsible fashion. They intend to count and spray the deposits, and then to repeat the process some weeks later and measure if any improvement is evident.”

The spokesperson added: “Dog fouling is not acceptable and we urge all dog-owners in Midlothian to clear up after their pets as it is their responsibility. As many people already know, there are free dog poo bags available in many of our council buildings, including local libraries, and, once bagged, dog waste can be disposed of in any litter bin or in your domestic refuse bin.”

If you would like to undertake an initiative to help eradicate dog fouling in your area please contact Midlothian Council to discuss your idea via greendogwalkers@midlothian.gov.uk

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