A NEW campaign has been launched to stop dog owners falling foul of the rules.

Scottish Borders Council is using stencils to ask members of the public to 'Clean it up', in an attempt to clamp down on dog fouling across the region.

The stencils are the latest scheme to come from the responsible dog ownership strategy set up by the council, following extensive research to look at the best ways to combat the problem.

The Council has already undertaken a series of activities as part of the strategy, including a dog fouling video by Hawick High School pupils, a new poster campaign and a Green Dog Walker Scheme to encourage members of the public to help change attitudes to dog fouling in their area.

There has also been the appointment of two enforcement officers as part of a 12-month pilot with external contractor 3GS, who can issue £80 fines for dog fouling and littering.

Councillor David Paterson, SBC’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, who recently met the enforcement officers, said: “The stencils have a very clear, straightforward message – clean it up.

“We hope the message will remind people of their responsibilities as dog owners who should be picking up after their pet whether in the countryside, in town or beside a sports pitch.

“The stencils will not be spray-painted everywhere, only in areas which we know are blackspots for dog fouling. 

"The stencils use chalk-based paint which means they are temporary," he added.

“We are taking the issue of dog fouling seriously, as can be seen with this and our various other educational activities related to the responsible dog ownership strategy.

“For those not willing to listen, there is now the real threat of an £80 fine through the appointment of enforcement officers as part of the year-long pilot.

“I have met both officers who are highly trained and committed to working with the Council. They will only issue fixed penalty notices to those who do not observe the law.”