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East Lothian Council – Tackling irresponsible dog ownership

Earlier this week Scottish Land & Estates met with East Lothian Council to discuss the two initiatives the council has in place to tackle irresponsible dog-ownership, with a particular focus on dog fouling and professional dog walking companies.
Dog Watch East Lothian – Approved Professional Dog Walker Scheme
The Council has a voluntary “approved user” accreditation scheme for professional dog walking companies. This voluntary scheme give companies the opportunity to understand the requirements for best practice and also offers reassurance to owners who are seeking a dog walker for their pet. The scheme is available for all dog walking companies who regularly exercise dogs in East Lothian, not just those who are based here. Those who gain the accreditation will be able to display their Council Dog Watch approved certificate on their vehicles and will also have user ID. Approved companies will continue to be monitored and can lose their approved user status if they breach any of the requirements. 
To be granted approved user status, the company has to agree to a number of conditions including: 
no more than six dogs to be exercised at any one time
the professional dog walking company to have relevant pet business insurance
dogs to be transported in a vehicle fit for purpose with dogs adequately secured
dogs to be tagged with the professional dog walking company’s own company tag whilst under their authority
controlling dogs during exercise
cleaning up any dog fouling
being aware and responsible for other land use – i.e. keeping away from livestock and bird habitat areas.
Green Dog Walkers
Green Dog Walkers is designed to be a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling. East Lothian Council is promoting the initiative, which originated in Falkirk and has since been adopted by dozens of local authorities across the UK. Members of the scheme pledge to always clean after their dog and also carry additional dog waste bags so that they can offer a spare if someone else has forgotten theirs. In addition the scheme includes messages promoting responsible behavior.

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