Owners implored to clean up after dogs

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A Gore couple are urging dog owners to clean up their canine’s faeces when they are out walking.

David and Moira Briggs, who are both regular walkers, are saddened by the amount of dog “poo” left on streets and grass frontages.

‘It’s on the concrete as well as the grass,” Mr Briggs aid.

The couple have also had to pick up dog faeces from their lawn.

“It’s getting worse and worse. Between here and the corner there is five lots [of dog excrement].”

The problem had worsened during the past year, Mr Briggs said.

The couple said there were a lot of responsible dog owners who did pick up the mess their dogs left behind, but the minority made walking a less than pleasant experience.

Mrs Briggs believed owners walked their dogs early in the morning and late at night which meant it was difficult for council staff to police the situation.

“It’s everywhere,” Mrs Briggs said.

The couple believed dog parks were a good idea.

Education could also help alleviate the problem, they said.

Dog owners could be educated on the etiquette expected of an owner, she said.

Mr Briggs said when the couple had visited Australia the situation there had not been as bad as Gore.

Dog parks were available for the exercise and socialisation of dogs and bags for canine excrement were provided as well as a disposal vessel, he said.

“It’s because the fines are quite heavy [in Australia],” Mr Briggs said.

“You need a fine of at least $500.”

Gore District Council regulatory and planning general manager Ian Davidson-Watts said if a dog made a “mess” in a public place, reserve or private land the owners were responsible for cleaning it up.

“It’s just good manners,” Dr Davidson-Watts said.

The development of a targeted action plan aimed at reducing dog-related danger and nuisance is to be developed by the Gore District Council and that might help mitigate some of the problems.

One of the measures to be explored in developing the action plan would be to have plastic bags attached to leads, he said.