The Independent on Sunday believes that dog registration and national legislation are two essential first steps towards solving the problems of dog fouling.

REGISTRATION should be compulsory. The registration fee should be set at a rate which would not only cover administrative costs, but also provide for effective numbers of dog wardens, education schemes and better dog hygiene facilities. (Pensioners, the disabled and those on benefits would be exempted from the fee.)

LEGISLATION - a national law is needed, making it an offence not to clean up after your dog in a public place. Existing 'poop-scoop' by-laws should be encompassed into this uniform law. Dog wardens should be empowered to enforce it and to issue fines to those who fail to pick up. Maximum penalties should be brought in line with litter fines (pounds 2,500, pounds 1,000 in Northern Ireland).