Page last updated at 23:36 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 00:36 UK

Young mothers fined for dog mess

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The council said many dog owners did clean up after their pets

Three young mothers with children were among 11 people issued with fixed penalty notices in the Highlands for not cleaning up after their pets.

Faeces poses a risk to children's health if it is infected with toxocara canis worm, which can harm eyesight.

Rugby pitches and a canal path were among public areas targeted in the crackdown by Highland Council.

Enforcement and community works staff went out early in the morning, evenings and weekends to catch offenders.

The local authority said the week-long action last month was just the start of a clampdown.

The areas targeted last month included Bught rugby pitches and canal path, Hilton, Merkinch, Muirtown Basin and Kirkhill in Inverness as well as Nairn.

Highland Council's TEC services committee chairman John Laing said a minority were to blame.

He said: "It was particularly disappointing that three offenders were young mothers with children.

"On a positive note, however, during the week our officers saw a huge number of dog owners who did pick up.

"This reinforces our opinion that it is a very small minority who are giving the majority of owners a bad name. This minority should be aware that they will eventually be caught."

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