Public need to take responsibility for poo say council

A nasty stash of filled dog bags beside the Kilmory path.

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Argyll and Bute Council is calling for dog owners to clean up after their pets following an ‘anecdotal increase’ in the amount of mess and discarded poo bags being left on public thoroughfares and at local beauty spots.

The region appears to be suffering from an escalating dog mess crisis, with social media outlets across the area reporting on a ‘plague of pooch poo bags’ accompanying the coronavirus pandemic.

One such ‘poo hotspot’ is the Benderloch cycle track between Jimmy’s Cafe and Lochnell Primary School, a walkway used regularly by children.

Resident Diane MacLean said: ‘Due to lockdown restrictions, there has been an increase of the general public using the cycle path as well as Tralee Beach access and the amount of dog fouling has also increased dramatically.

‘There are no dog fouling bins on the cycle path for owners to deposit the waste. Instead they let the dogs foul all over the verges or pick it up and place the bags under trees or hanging from branches.

‘I’ve got nothing against dogs or the owners as I’ve been brought up with dogs all my life. It’s not just locals to blame for this it’s people from surrounding areas as well.’

Other popular walking venues are suffering the same problem and, with only four dog wardens available to cover the whole of the region, the council is appealing to the offending dog owners to be more responsible.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: ‘We would urge dog owners to consider their neighbours and friends and keep the areas clean that everyone shares.

‘We are fully aware dog fouling remains a concern for people throughout Argyll and Bute – evidence of an increase appears to be anecdotal.

‘We would love to do everything our communities want us to but year on year budget cuts mean we have four wardens for Argyll and Bute.

‘We will continue to remind people of their responsibilities and where we have evidence of people not clearing up after their dogs, we will take action.’

The public can help by contacting Argyll and Bute Council Customer Service Centre on 01546 605514 and providing information which assists the wardens in addressing the issue and potentially catching offending dog owners in the act of not cleaning up after their pet.