Dirty dogs: minister speaks out

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THE EARL of Arran, an Environment under-secretary, has challenged petfood manufacturers to act on dog fouling.

Taking up issues raised by the Independent on Sunday's Dirty Dogs Campaign, he told a seminar on dogs and the law, run by the Pet Advisory Committee: 'The petfood industry is big business, with sales of dog food of around pounds 600m a year. I think it is reasonable to ask whether they are doing enough.'

The earl, who voiced concern about 'the vexatious problem of fouling', suggested a measure that the Dirty Dogs Campaign has already raised with petfood producers. He said: 'A message on the labels of dog food would remind owners to clear up after their pets. The major petfood companies spend millions on advertising their products.'

Responding to an approach from the Independent on Sunday, Hardy Pet Foods has already agreed to add a message to its packaging.

Spillers, a major producer, is currently considering the idea. Pedigree, however, has rejected our suggestion that it could add a clean-up slogan and logo to its cans.