MEASURES being taken to tackle ‘unacceptable’ dog fouling on sports pitches in a Borders park have come under the spotlight.

The issue of an ongoing problem with owners allowing their animals to defecate on sports facilities at Stow Park in Galashiels was raised by the town’s Liberal Democrat councillor Hannah Steel at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council on Thursday (November 24).

In response to the open question, councillor John Greenwell, the council’s executive member for roads development and maintenance, said the council’s dog education officer had visited Stow Park on a number of occasions, speaking with and attempting to educate dog owners to be responsible.

He added: “The officer has attended community council meetings and has provided posters to be erected around areas where fouling is prevalent and also information related to the Green Dog Walkers Scheme which encourages owners to be more responsible.

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“The police will issue fixed penalty notices, give a formal police warning or verbal warning when the council receives a complaint of dog fouling which is forwarded to them when we have a willing witness and an identified dog and owner, although the process is time-limited.

“Parks and environment can erect posters, spray footpaths, use stencils highlighting anti-dog fouling at specific locations and they will continue to respond to reports where fouling takes place to clear it up.

“There are four litter bins in and around Stow Park and they are emptied on a regular basis. Similar action is taken all over the Borders when fouling is reported to the council.

“The problem will only be addressed with the co-operation of the communities and through all dog owners taking responsibility and picking up after their dog and preventing them, wherever possible, from fouling on pitches and recreational areas.”

Mr Greenwell highlighted the work of Kelso councillor Tom Weatherston who campaigned for tough action against dog owners who allow their animals to foul on sports pitches.

The campaign was driven by his disgust at falling on canine excrement while playing rugby as a schoolboy.