Dog Fouling

The problem of dog fouling is not only a nuisance but also a potential danger and health hazard. Under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) it is an offence for any person who is in charge of a dog not to immediately remove, and dispose of appropriately, any excrement, if the animal defecates in any public place without reasonable excuse or the consent of the landowner. This includes pavements, footpaths, roads, road verges, parks, recreational pitches, communal land and any open land that the public has access to. Excrement should be picked up and disposed of in a responsible manner by either depositing it in the nearest dog waste bin, litter bin or in your domestic waste at home.

Offenders may be liable to receive a Fixed Penalty of £80, rising to £100 if not paid within 28 days.  Authorised Comhairle Officers and Police Officers will issue these Penalties. Offenders can also be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may be fined up to £500 if convicted. It will also be a criminal offence not to provide your name and address if you are suspected as having committed an offence. Not doing so may result in a £500 fine or conviction.

We recognise that the majority of dog owners already clean up after their dogs. It is the aim of the law to empower local authorities to deal with the antisocial behaviour of the minority of dog owners who do

What can I do about dogs fouling in my area?

If you know the address of the dog owners allowing their dogs to foul without clearing up after them, you can report them to us. The owners of these dogs will be visited with appropriate action being taken against them, where it can be proved that they have allowed their dog to foul. If you do not know the details of the dog owner, you can give us a description and an idea of times the dog is walked. We can then target the area at these times which will give us a better chance of catching offenders.

Dog owners

When walking your dog always take a poop scoop or bags with you. It is your duty as a dog owner to clean up after your dog and dispose of the waste properly.  You can use any general waste public litter bin, not just designated dog waste bins. Never let your dog out alone.

You can train your dog to foul in your own garden, which makes it easier for you to clean up after it.

To prevent the spread of disease make sure children wash their hands when they have been playing with a dog or somewhere that dogs have been.

Make sure that your dog is given worming tablets regularly in accordance with your vet’s instructions as this can help prevent the spread of disease.

Should you witness someone failing to clean up after their dog and you know the owner’s details, please report it to the Comhairle.


Roundworm (Toxicara Canis) eggs contained in dog faeces pose a risk to children if the faeces is not removed. The eggs can survive for up to two years on the ground and although the worm cannot complete its life cycle in a human host, ingested eggs can cause serious conditions, particularly in children. The eggs hatch in the gut and the larvae can migrate to various organs including the liver, eyes and brain. It is estimated that around 100 cases of infection in humans are diagnosed each year. Contagion has been linked to nausea, asthma, epilepsy and in rare cases vision problems