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Follow the paw prints to bag and bin it

Bright yellow paw prints will soon be appearing on a footpath near you in Fenland District Council's latest attempt to curb dog fouling.

The paw and foot prints are being spray-painted along pavements leading to bins in fouling hotspots. The bins will carry matching stickers.

The special biodegradable paint is semi-permanent, fading after six to eight weeks.

Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC's Cabinet member responsible for the environment, launched the new initiative yesterday (Monday, June 8) in Furrowfields, Chatteris, one of the district's worst affected areas.

The campaign will run for the next six months with a series of targeted areas. Other parts of Chatteris, the Manor Field in Whittlesey, March's West End Park and Bath Road in Wisbech are next in line.

Other locations will be chosen on the basis of feedback from town and parish councils, other partners such as the police and The Landscape Group, and the public.  

A previous campaign by the council involving spray-painting piles of dog mess attracted a lot of attention.

Cllr Murphy said: "Dog mess is one of the things that we get most complaints about. People who fail to pick it up are selfish and antisocial. We do have the power to fine offenders and use it where we can but for obvious reasons catching them in the act is difficult.

"So it's more a question of educating people and finding ways to encourage them to behave responsibly. What we're saying is 'bag it and bin it'. This reinforces that message."

Extra support in tackling dog fouling is being sought from a local primary school that has raised concerns about messes on the school run.  Pupils of Alderman Jacobs in Whittlesey are being asked to design a poster to promote the national "Big Scoop" campaign that has been launched by the Dogs Trust. The theme is "Big Scoop - Be a Scooper Hero" and the winning three designs will be put up around the town.

The council's Street Scene officers have the power to issue £75 fixed penalty notices to anyone who fails to pick up their dog's mess, allows it to be in a gated children's play area or refuses to put it on a lead when requested.

The council is also supporting the Government's move to make it compulsory to have all dogs microchipped from 2016.

Article added June 9, 2015