WALKING the dog has become one of the few opportunities to get outside for some fresh air during lockdown, but it has come at a stinking, germ-ridden cost, according to a cleaning company.

Divert.co.uk, a dog poo litter removal company, claimed dog poo litter in Hereford has been "up 200 per cent since lockdown", which it says is a "clear indicator that not all dog owners are cleaning up" after their pets.

The company provides dog poo litter removal for councils and private landowners and says it has been alarmed by the rise.

Mark Hall, from Divert.co.uk, said: “It is disgusting to see that some dog owners are failing to pick up after their pets, when it’s an offence and the waste can lead to serious illnesses."

With lockdown three in full-swing, current England guidelines allow for people to walk their dog alone, with their household or support bubble, or with one person from another household.


Mr Hall said: “Walking your dog is important for both pet and owner for exercise, especially while we are all house-bound during the lockdown.

“Unfortunately, thanks to the thoughtless behaviour by a few individuals, dog owners are once again getting a bad reputation due to a massive increase in dog mess on the streets.”

Divert.co.uk said it believes that due to fewer people being out and about, irresponsible dog owners believe they are less likely to get caught, so are more like to leave the poo and run.

But it added not all dog owners will leave poo on the pavement, as waste campaigners Keep Britain Tidy has found that nine out of 10 dog owners do regularly clean up after their dog.

The 10 per cent who do not clean up after their dog could be fined up to £100, and that could go up to £1,000 if the issue goes to court.

“There really is no excuse for this behaviour, especially as the waste can be put into any public bin,” Hall said.

“It’s lockdown laziness, especially those guys who bag the mess, then don’t bin the bag. Get a grip."

An interactive map from Herefordshire Council shows there are currently dozens of reported dog poos in Hereford which have been reported.

Mess can be reported by using the map on the council's website, with the page warning: "Dog poo is a health hazard, all dog owners have a legal duty to clean up after their dog.

"Failure to do so could result in a dog control order with an £80 fixed penalty notice, or a maximum fine of £1,000.

"In addition to reporting the area is in need of cleaning, if you wish to report an individual, or would like the enforcement team to visit the area and investigate please answer the question below."


Elsewhere in the county, a parish council near Bromyard has urged local dog owners to be responsible and clean up after their pet.

Stoke Lacy Parish Council clerk Alma Westwood said at a meeting on October 14 the council was asked to investigate the possible installation of dog waste bins.

But it had since been told by Herefordshire Council that it does not supply or empty such bins.

The parish council was told that it was the responsibility of all dog owners to clean up after their dog and take the waste home with them for disposal there.

"Accordingly the parish council will not be providing dog waste bins anywhere in the parish," she said in a letter on its website.

"The parish council is not, and cannot be, responsible for emptying bins and disposing of people’s dog waste.

"If you have a dog you are required by law to clean up after it and dispose of the waste in a responsible manner.

"Anyone found not doing so is liable to be prosecuted and fined.

"Please do not use the litter bin by the bus stop. This bin is for general litter only.

"Please be a responsible dog owner and dispose of its waste appropriately. Thank you for your co-operation."