There are times when I believe some people are living in a parallel universe ("Dog walkers' clean-up bid", The Herald, December 1).

It is reported that dog walkers are to be offered a free cream tea if they pick up their pet's mess and funding has been made available from Edinburgh City Council for this exercise in motivation.

Surely the answer lies in taking action against the owners of befouling pets for breaking the law, rather than awarding treats for doing what they should be doing as a matter of course. Why not consider:

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l Requiring the dog owners to clean the shoes of those who have inadvertently walked through their dog's mess;

l Taking groups of dog owners to see victims of toxocara canis, a form of worms frequently found in dog mess, deposited regularly in parks and open spaces where children play; or

l Perhaps more realistically, having a few of those dog lovers prosecuted for such behaviour, fined and exposed in the media. Naming and shaming, I am sure, would have a salutary effect and lead to much improved behaviour.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road,