apex park dog fouling campaign 1

Spray-painted messages have been left on paths around Highbridge’s Apex Park this week in a new initiative to encourage dog owners to pick up their pet’s waste.

Members of the Friends of Apex Park have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of dog fouling in the town and to encourage responsible dog ownership.

The group accompanied one of Sedgemoor’s dog wardens on a walk around Apex Park on Wednesday (6th March) when they sprayed stencils on pathways to remind park users to pick up the poo or face a fine.

The initiative – which could spread into other parts of the town – also aims to highlight the harm that dog poo can cause to humans.

Sedgemoor’s dog wardens regularly patrol Apex Park, along with other dog poo ‘hot spots’ and can issue a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice if they see owners not picking up after their pets.

“It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans,” said council spokeswoman Claire Faun.

“It can also cause blindness, Toxocariasis is an illness found in humans that occurs when they are infected with parasitic roundworms, originating from the fecal matter of dogs. E.Coli is another and for those with weakened immune systems, the infection can result in death.”

“Not only is dog fouling a recognised form of anti-social behaviour, but it can also get you a sizeable fine from the council.  A Fixed Penalty Notices is £100 (reduced to £75 if paid within 10 days).”

“Due to the nature of modern diets for dogs, dog poop is very high in harmful bacteria.”

“Simply bagging and binning dog poo makes a real difference. It keeps our parks, streets and coastal environment clean, safeguards the health of beach and water users and protects our bathing water.”

“Dog poo can be binned in both Poo Bins, as well as general waste bins. There are 240 dog bins across Sedgemoor – and all get emptied at least twice a week; the ones in popular spots such as Burnham and parks get emptied on a daily basis.”