Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 17:58 UK

'Disgusting' dog-fouling campaign

Anti dog fouling poster
The posters will be displayed in bus shelters around Torbay

A poster highlighting the dangers of dog fouling to children is designed to be as "disgusting" as dog fouling itself, a Devon councillor said.

The campaign by Torbay Council features a hard-hitting image appearing to show a young child eating dog faeces which they found in a playground.

The posters will be displayed in local bus shelters.

Dog mess offenders could be issued with a £75 fixed penalty notice or face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Councillor Dave Butt, Torbay cabinet member for community services, said: "The council receives a number of complaints about dog fouling, and anecdotal evidence would suggest that the problem is getting worse.

"Dog poo on our streets, parks and beaches looks bad, smells bad, and is offensive to local people and visitors. The visual image chosen for our campaign is as disgusting as dog fouling itself."

The mayor, Nick Bye, said: "Dog fouling is not acceptable in Torbay or anywhere else, and the council has taken a hard line on the subject with this campaign.

"We are calling on the community as a whole to take a stand, and to report those who persistently fail to pick up."

The council said dog faeces can contain a parasitic worm which causes an illness called Toxocariasis in humans, leading to visual impairment and even blindness.

Children are thought to be at more risk of contracting the disease.

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