Dog mess health threat to young

Scene of the recreational field and football pitches off Cale Lane, New Springs, Wigan - where dogs have been fouling

Scene of the recreational field and football pitches off Cale Lane, New Springs, Wigan - where dogs have been fouling

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DOG owners who let their pets foul Wigan’s playing fields are putting children’s health at risk.

And they were today warned to clear up their mess or face the consequences.

Council bosses have vowed to crack down after receiving a growing catalogue of complaints, particularly from football teams since the new season began. And the pitches on Cale Lane, New Springs have been identified as being especially problematic.

John Fitzpatrick, a parent involved in a new under-11s side set up by Wigan Youth Zone and Wigan Athletic Community Trust, believes dog mess is a serious hazard to the young players. One parasite found in dog faeces, toxocara canis, can cause blindness.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “They play at Cale Lane and last week the parents had to take over a dozen mounds of special from the pitch before the kids could play. But it’s a common problem in town and there must be something that helps encourage owners to be more responsible.

“Even if there were signs bins, bags and a standpipe to wash hands or shoes things could be much better.

“We got in touch with the council last week about the problem and we were just asked to complete an online form. The area was not much better this week.”

Council bosses say extra patrols will now be put in operation to catch those responsible.

Those caught in the act could receive a fixed penalty notice of £50 which could result in a fine of £1,000 if prosecuted or they do not pay the initial fine.

Mr Fitzpatrick added: “I’d like the council to research the problem properly and find solutions from places where it’s been successfully dealt with.”