MORE than 300 extra hours of staff time have been put into a council crackdown on dog fouling.

The ‘Brown April’ initiative saw a concerted effort from East Lothian Council to catch dog walkers who fail to clean up after their pet.

Two residents were witnessed failing to clean up after their dog and were fined £80 each.

The council noted that the main points of concern were reports relating to grass sports pitches and school grounds, and so put 20 council officers authorised to enforce the Dog Fouling Scotland Act on patrol across the whole county, interacting with dog walkers and reminding people of their legal and moral responsibilities.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, council spokesperson for the environment, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for dog owners failing to clean up after their pets.

“Dog fouling is a wholly avoidable problem in any area, but for dog owners failing to clear up on sites where their own family and friends will be taking part in school and recreational activities is astonishing.

“As well as being the law, failing to clean up fouling has potentially serious health risks to the whole community, particularly young children and council staff involved in maintaining our open spaces.

“It is encouraging, though, that the recent campaign has only resulted in the issue of two fines, proof that it is a very small minority of dog owners whose behaviour blights the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

The council is urging members of the public to get in touch should they witness any dog owner failing to clean up after their pet by phoning 01875 824305 or making a report via the council website. Reports can be made in confidence.