June 14, 2024

Advanced Ailment Care

Elevating Health Solutions

Environmental Health crackdown on dog control in Inverness

3 min read

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Environmental Health crackdown on dog control in Inverness.Environmental Health crackdown on dog control in Inverness.
Environmental Health crackdown on dog control in Inverness.

An Environmental Health team have highlighted the increase in dog control incidents after hundreds of dog related reports were recorded in Inverness alone.

An increase in incidents relating to dog control issues that includes dog attacks, aggressive dogs and straying dogs has been highlighted in a report to the City of Inverness Area Committee in the Environmental Health – Annual Report and Activity for 2023/24.

The report explained that 152 reported incidents were recorded in the local Inverness Ward areas alone. This included 50 reports of aggressive dogs, 28 dog attacks, and 7 dog attacks where a person was bitten.

Leader of Inverness and Area, Cllr Ian Brown said: “It is extremely disappointing to hear the number and type of dog control issues that required investigation, and which undoubtedly will have caused a lot of distress and anxiety to people.

“I fully support the efforts of the Environmental Health team in highlighting this issue and to promote responsible dog ownership. It is not acceptable for a dog owner to allow their dog to be out of control in such a way as it causes alarm or apprehension in people.

“I very much welcome the Environmental Health’s team’s intention to increase their proactive patrols and enforcement work in this area over the coming year.”

Also in the report to councillors was an increasing trend in the number of Environmental Health service requests with 3,825 carried out in 2023/24 within the Inverness area.

These service requests were typically for advice from members of the public and businesses, as well as consultations and complaints from the public. Members were informed that the rising trend in service requests reflects the increased statutory duties undertaken by the service.

The team was noted to have an important role in ensuring that the Highlands maintains its reputation of a safe and healthy place to live, work and holiday.

With much of Environmental Health’s work being proactive and preventative – the team has adopted a ‘4Es approach’, which stands for: engage, explain, encourage and enforce when responding to cases.

This approach enables the Environmental Health team to satisfactorily resolve most service requests and issues without the need to resort to formal enforcement action.

A total 22 enforcement notices were served in 2023/24 for health and safety, food safety, dog control and environmental protection issues.

Examples of proactive outreach work undertaken by the Environmental Health team include projects on air quality in schools and a public event for Clean Air Day.

Officers met with P6/7 classes in Inverness schools and gave presentations to encourage a reduction in car idling at pick up times and highlighted how active travel can improve local air quality and health outcomes.

The team is also planning a public display that’ll show in Falcon Square to promote Clean Air Day – scheduled for June 20, 2024.

On the matter of dog control and littering, councillors were informed that Environmental Health aims to increase the number of proactive campaigns and targeted enforcement patrols over the coming year.

Environmental Health have made it clear that pet owners must be responsible for pet fouling.Environmental Health have made it clear that pet owners must be responsible for pet fouling.
Environmental Health have made it clear that pet owners must be responsible for pet fouling.

They have also requested feedback from councillors on locations in their Wards particularly affected by dog fouling or littering.

Members noted the current structure of the Environmental Health team and the range, as well as volume of work undertaken in Inverness and Highland-wide issues that are impacting them. These included the new short term let licensing regime and new licensing requirements for animal breeders.

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