Calls for tougher penalties following a rise in fly-tipping in Angus have fallen on deaf ears.
North East Scotland Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said he was disappointed rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing did not consider it a priority.
Mr Kerr took up the issue in the Scottish Parliament in the wake of a warning that Angus is being turned into a “giant rubbish tip” as a result of rising levels of fly-tipping and littering.
He urged the Scottish Government to strengthen punishments following several high-profile incidents in his regional constituency during a portfolio questions session in Holyrood.
The latest included rogue dumpers leaving the “contents of a flat” at Montreathmont Forest near Forfar which was described as “disgraceful” by Angus Council following complaints from cyclists.
Mr Kerr asked Mr Ewing if he agreed that the law needed strengthened.
The cabinet secretary responded: “Fly tipping is a form of criminal activity. It is selfish and it has a huge impact on farmers.
“People who do it should be, frankly, ashamed of themselves and I hope that those who do it are caught.”
Following the session, Mr Kerr said he was disappointed the cabinet secretary did not go so far as to pledge tougher legislation.
He added: “Without the risk of being prosecuted, there is a risk that unscrupulous people will run amok in rural areas.
“At a quiet woodland in Angus last week, it looked like the contents of a flat had been ditched.
“This was only several miles from the nearest general waste dumps and recycling centres.
“No other form of pollution would be tolerated to this extent by the SNP, so I am disappointed Fergus Ewing didn’t think it is a priority.”
Conservation volunteers say they fear rising levels of fly-tipping and littering across the county could have a negative impact on wildlife and visitors to the region.
An investigation was carried out by Angus Clean Environments (ACE) following a number of incidents in the county including a one-tonne bag of hazardous asbestos that was found at Monikie.
The investigation highlighted the main tourist route from Dundee to Glamis where an armchair, a mattress, concrete blocks, tyres, glass and clothing were found dumped from the A90 right up to the A928.