Moray Council is introducing patrols of plain-clothes wardens to combat the seasonal increase in occurrences of dog fouling at this time of year.
In particular, wardens are stepping up patrols in Elgin Cemetery where dog owners have been sighted allowing their dogs to roam around the cemetery grounds and foul on graves and headstones.
Rules for cemeteries and burial grounds stipulate that all dogs must be on a leash whilst in a cemetery, and like all other public places it is an offence to allow a dog to foul and not clean up.
Community Warden Donna Jamieson, said: “We have carried out a number of patrols since receiving complaints of dogs fouling graves and urinating on headstones. This is particularly distressing for those visiting the graves of loved ones.
“Most responsible dog walkers observe the signs and ensure their dogs are kept under control within the cemetery grounds, but an inconsiderate minority need to be reminded that the cemetery is a place for reflection and remembrance, not a recreation area or a place to exercise dogs”.
New warning signs have been installed at the entrances to the cemetery informing dog owners that the fixed penalty fine for fouling offences is now £80.
Community Safety wardens in plain clothes will be patrolling in known hot spot areas across Moray, with a zero-tolerance brief. Those caught failing to remove and appropriately dispose of dog faeces will be issued with fixed penalty notices and an £80 fine.
Members of the Public can help by reporting instances of dog fouling to Moray Council via the website www.moray.gov.uk or phoning 0300 1234561.
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.