Public ban on walkies to stop 'foul' play?

PUBLISHED: 15:41 03 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:13 24 May 2010

MEMBERS of the public could be banned from Nailsea's playing fields if irresponsible dog owners fail to clean up their act

MEMBERS of the public could be banned from Nailsea's playing fields if irresponsible dog owners fail to clean up their act.Throughout the year, The Grove and Greenfield Crescent play host to dozens of official junior and senior football and cricket matches, as well as ad hoc games. Bylaws are in force which require dog owners to keep their pets on a lead when exercising them on the playing fields. But reckless dog owners are flouting the regulations and allowing their pets to foul the football pitches and cricket squares and a groundsman has to clear up the piles of dog mess left behind.But because of the potential health risk posed by the faeces, Nailsea Playing Fields Association is considering barring members of the public from the playing fields.Maureen Brady, chairman of Nailsea Playing Fields Association, said: "There are bylaws requiring dogs to be kept on leads, and signs reminding people about them, but dog owners persist in flouting them."Residual dog mess, even if the owner has used a scoop, presents a health hazard."Members of the committee have to consider if they are willing to run that risk for members of the sports fraternity and the public. There are plenty of other places nearby where dog owners could walk their pets and we would urge them to use those."But if people won't co-operate, we'll have to apply for a footpath diversion order to stop members of the public from walking across the playing fields."We don't want to do it. It would be a last resort. But health and safety has to be our primary concern."Dog faeces can contain the eggs of the roundworm, toxocara, which can survive in the soil for years and, if ingested or inhaled by humans, can cause eye, liver, brain and respiratory problems.

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