'Irresponsible' dog owners urged to clean up dog poo on rugby pitch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 September 2019

Sidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9687. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9687. Picture: Terry Ife

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Dog owners are being warned to clean up after their pets or face the sin bin by the town's rugby club.

Sidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9683. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9683. Picture: Terry Ife

Parents and coaches involved with Sidmouth Rugby Club have been left frustrated at picking up dog mess from the training pitch at the club's Sidford site.

Dan Ayling said enough was enough after attending his son's under 14s practice session on Sunday (September 8) and picking up four lots of mess.

The parent said there was 'no excuse' for dog owners not to clean up after their pets.

Mr Ayling said: "This is something we are dealing with all the time. The message for dog owners is simply to clean up after their pets.

A dog bin in Sidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9695. Picture: Terry IfeA dog bin in Sidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9695. Picture: Terry Ife

"There are plenty of other spaces where dogs could be exercised but for those who feel they have to take their dogs to the training pitches they really should be more vigilant and clean up after their dogs.

"The dog mess was left right on the pitch where the children were practicing, four lots of it.

"Parents and club members are constantly on the look out. I would say to the dog walkers guilty of not cleaning up after themselves to imagine if their child came home after falling in this mess. I am a dog owner and there really is no excuse."

Earlier this year, Honiton Rugby Club had to abandon training after four children were covered in dog faeces.

Sidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9691. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Rugby club's Byes ground at Sidford. Ref shs 37 19TI 9691. Picture: Terry Ife

Rugby coach Jon Manning said the club could be forced to put pressure on the district council to outlaw dogs in the area.

The club has children aged five upwards training and playing matches on the field.

Mr Manning said: "Rugby is a game where players are brought to the ground so everyone at some time will be in contact with the pitch. Imagine you falling over and your face planting in dog mess because an owner decided they were reckless in not picking up the mess?

"Dog mess can seriously affect the health of children. The signs are very small which tell owners to keep their dogs on a lead which doesn't help, then there will be some irresponsible dog owners who just don't care.

"Otherwise it feels like we would need to put pressure on East Devon District Council to outlaw dogs in this area."

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