'We're blowing the whistle on sport fields dog foulers'
Sports teams are having to clear dog mess off playing fields before they can start games.
Dog walkers exercising their pets on recreation areas in north east Somerset are being warned to clear up after them or face on-the-spot fines.
The warning comes amid fears that young footballers at Westfield could be at risk from the disease toxocariasis picked up from dog mess left behind at Norton Hill and Westhill recreation fields.
Head coach of the Westfield Under 14 team, Wayne Gay, regularly has to clear the pitch of up to 20 pieces of dog mess before games can start.
He said he was disgusted that anyone would exercise their dog on a public playing field.
"We have to pick up mess before we can train or play a match. Why people have to exercise their dogs on a public playing field when there are open fields probably 100 yards away?
"It could be the children, grandchildren, or even great grandchildren of these dog walkers that could become ill after playing on the pitches."
Chairman of Westfield Parish Council, Councillor Geoff Fuller – who is also a groundsman at Midsomer Norton Rugby Club – is appealing to dog owners to be more thoughtful.
He said: "At the rugby club we don't allow dogs because of the disease, toxocariasis, which has a serious impact on people's lives. I would appeal to the public who see dog walkers being negligent about picking up after their dog to report it.
"The dog warden is active in this area and we must stand firm on this and let them know that they will be prosecuted."
B&NES Council dog warden Kim McGarva said: "There is no excuse – dog bins are installed in most parks and open spaces."
If you see a dog walker not cleaning up after their dog, take a description of the person, the dog, and location and ring 01225 394041.