Council urged to look at games pitch dog ban

Tucker McCall Stow AFC Chairman  pitch dog fouling.
Tucker McCall Stow AFC Chairman pitch dog fouling.

A village football team chairman has suggested dogs be banned from sports grounds after his club’s pitch was left covered in faeces.

Thomas ‘Tucker’ McCall of Stow AFC says he has discussed the disgusting issue with other sports clubs officials from across the Borders.

He is furious that a previously successful campaign in the village by the Border Amateur League side is being ignored.

He told The Southern: “Several years ago the club posted leaflets through the letterboxes of houses in the surrounding area of Stow Park which asked dog owners to ‘bag it, tie it and bin it’. It also outlined the medical problems that dog dirt can cause as well as the financial penalties for failing to clean up after your dog. “The club put up notices at the entrances of the park again asking the owners to be responsible for their animals.

“The campaign appeared to have worked, however now that the lighter nights and hopefully the better weather are here, the club have returned to train and play on our grass pitch. The park is an absolute disgrace.

“The club have to carry out an inspection before using the pitch to remove a considerable amount of dog dirt. Even in a matter of a few days the menace returns.

“Perhaps it is now time for the local council to consider banning dogs from public parks and sporting areas? Drastic measures I know but as usual, the minority of irresponsible owners have spoilt it for the majority of responsible ones.”

Mr McCall has contacted the council to highlight the issue and has urged anyone who sees someone failing to clean up after their pet to phone 0300 100 1800.

He added: “Hopefully sporting groups can then concentrate on the enjoyable side of their sport instead of having to waste valuable time cleaning up disgusting dog mess.”

An SBC spokesman said there are no plans at present to ban dogs from sports grounds.

Earlier this year, we reported on a rugby match between Peebles and Kelso which was cancelled because of the amount of dog dirt on the pitch.