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Concern about dog mess on pitch

28 November 09 09:10 GMT

A rugby club is appealing to dog owners to clean up after their pets following continued problems with dog mess on the pitch.

Blaenavon RFC in Torfaen has to clear its pitch of faeces before every match and training session.

Chairman Alan Jones said a recent game was stopped three times by the referee because of the issue.

He added the club was concerned about the health risk posed to its teams, particularly the children who played.

"It's been a big problem for us. I had the groundsman check the pitch prior to a game and there were 22 pieces on the pitch," he said.

"We have kids playing on there too for the under 12s and under 15s. All you want is for something to go in someone's eye and you've got a potential problem.

"I am really concerned about the young children. It's hard enough to encourage people to play rugby as it is, without having problems like this putting them off."

Torfaen council said that while the majority of dog owners were responsible, there was still a "significant minority who let their dogs foul the borough's streets and green areas".

Blaenavon and the rugby ground were said to be of "particular concern".

Penalty notices

Torfaen executive member for housing, planning and public protection, Councillor Gwyneira Clark, said: "This is a big problem, with serious health implications. Members of Blaenavon RFC regularly have to pick up faeces from all over the pitch before they can train or play.

"There is absolutely no excuse for failing to pick up dog mess and we strongly urge dog owners to depose of dog faeces responsibly."

The council said surveillance visits in Blaenavon had increased and 13 fixed penalty notices of £75 had been issued to dog walkers in the past few months.

Dog fouling issues in the area can be reported to the council on 01633 647621/22.

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