A PLEA has been made to ban dogs from sports pitches in Galashiels.

For months members of the town's community council have been appealing to owners to pick up after their pets on the back pitches at Netherdale.

And now they have reached the end of their tether.

Community councillor Helen Calder told Wednesday's meeting: "My grandchildren play football down at Netherdale and it is an absolute disgrace.

"I think we all have a duty of care to the children playing on those pitches.

"Can we not ban dogs from going on? Or perhaps we could fence off the pitches?

"It would be easy to get the criminal justice team to go out and put up a fence."

Gala rugby stalwart Johnny Gray also raised his concerns.

He added: "People just let their dogs out to run free and don't pick up after them.

"I can say that during 20 years of doing rugby at Langlee, not once did we have to clear the pitches there.

"It is a problem at Netherdale."

However community councillor Drew Tulley said not all owners should be tarred with the same brush.

He said: "There are people who do not pick up after their dogs, but that is only a small percentage.

"There are some very responsible dog owners here.

"The other day a dog fouled right outside of my garage, however the dog owner went home and returned with a bucket of water and detergent to clean the path outside of my house."

Members of the community council asked local councillor Sandy Aitchison if a by-law could be introduced at Netherdale.

But he said: "Unless people take responsibility, this problem will never go away.

"A by-law is just adding an illegality on top of what is already an illegality.

"This is not just a problem in Galashiels. It is a problem faced by most communities in the Borders, right over to Eyemouth.

"I have sat here and said before that I was at a school in Coldingham and the teachers had to go out and clear the field before the sports day could take place.

"It is a national disgrace."