Toggle menu

Tackling Dog Fouling - Paws for Thought

'Paws for Thought' is a new dog fouling initiative, currently under way in West Lothian to encourage responsible dog owners to help keep our streets and parks clean.

The Environmental Enforcement team within NETs and Land Services continue to monitor specific problems that have been highlighted.

Dog walkers are encouraged to pick up after the dogs in their care and dispose of it responsibly into "any bin". The general public are encouraged to report known offenders. Offenders will be issued fixed penalty notices.

The objectives are:

  • To reduce dog fouling in the area's identified
  • To carry out joint patrols at peak times
  • To encourage good communication with dog walkers
  • To promote partnership working within our communities
  • Improve the environment within our community

What can I use to clean up my dog's foul?

You can buy poop scoop bags from most pet shops however old carrier bags are also effective.

As a responsible dog owner, you can prevent the problem of dog fouling in public places by considering the following points.

  • If you have a garden, teach your dog to "go" there before you leave your home
  • Always carry the poop scoop bags or a carrier bag to clean up after your dog
  • Never let your dog out alone

Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act

On 22nd October 2003 the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act came into force. West Lothian Council advises all dog owners that 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, parks, recreational pitches, cycleways, communal land, back greens, stairs, closes, 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.

Fouling on land to which the public do not have access, such as gardens, cannot be dealt with under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act. However, where it is allowed to accumulate, causing potential smell, fly or other problems, Environmental Health Contact Details can intervene using the law of Statutory Nuisance law. It is expected that residents will clear fouling from their gardens on a daily basis. For more information see Dog Fouling on Private Land.


Offenders may be liable to receive a Fixed Penalty of £40, rising to £60 if not paid within 28 days. (From April 2016, this rises to £80 and £100 respectively). Authorised Officers of West Lothian Council 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 not.

Other Dog Related Matters

Advice for owners and those affected by dog related matters can be found on our Animal Welfare pages.