'Poo city central' claim as dog dirt piles up
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HIGHLAND councillors in Wick and Thurso have condemned the "sizeable increase" in bags of dog mess left lying around popular walking areas in and around the towns.
One social media commentator described a popular walk by the Trinkie area of Wick as "poo city central" due to the amount of dog waste.
In that area, piles of dog waste bags sit on the concrete plinths where bins stood until destroyed by vandals earlier this year.
Special dog waste bins at the Dammies area of Thurso and along the town's Victoria Walk have previously been reported to be overflowing with the bags. Many have commented, in both Wick and Thurso, on how bags containing dog mess are often tied to tree branches or hidden in long grass.
Councillor Raymond Bremner, Wick and East Caithness, said that in these "unprecedented times" there are staff shortages because council employees "are real people and may have underlying health issues and personal circumstances that mean they cannot undertake their duties as normal".
He added: "The council has a duty of care to them as well as the community.
"It is beyond belief that dog owners can’t carry their dog waste home in a bag and dispose of it in their own bins. How difficult is that?"
He added that the local authority has been adapting its resources to tackle the challenges it faces.
"The council operatives who are still in post are trying to cover service delivery as best as they can," Councillor Bremner said, emphasising that "it is not business as usual" and services are under great strain.
"I ask all dog owners, in the meantime, to bag their dog waste and dispose of it when they get home," he added.
Councillor Matthew Reiss, Thurso and Northwest Caithness, said: "Dogs bring a lot of pleasure to many people – not for nothing are they referred to as 'man's best friend'.
"Unfortunately, a small, thoughtless minority of owners continue, unbelievably, to not clear up after their dogs and leave plastic poo bags lying around.
"If you're one of those few people, please, please resolve to now follow the example of the vast majority. There is no excuse, and that's why the law makes it an offence not to clear up after your dog."
Caithness civic leader Willie Mackay, who represents Wick and East Caithness, pointed out that "dog poo contain nasty bacteria and other unwanted parasites" and stressed how important it is to dispose of used bags effectively.
"Leaving the bags lying around is uncalled for and liable to get burst, adding to an unsightly situation and a health hazard – so please bag it and bin it," Councillor Mackay said.
Councillor Bremner added that council staff are addressing the issues surrounding dog waste bins and would be catching up with all the "outstanding challenges" in the coming week.