Dog owners urged to clean up mess

By Debbie Sutton

Striking signs urging dog owners to clear up their pet’s mess have been erected across Driffield.

Driffield Town Council has installed 40 signs primarily on routes to schools in the town, with the hope it will make dog owners act responsibly and clear up after their pet. The scourge of dog poo on the pavements of Driffield is well-known, with it featuring as one of the greatest areas of concern among residents in last year’s Driffield Town Council consultation questionnaire.

The new signs form part of the national Keep Britain Tidy ‘We’re Watching You’ campaign and feature a pair of eyes and the words “9 out of 10 dog owners clean up after their dog. Are you the one who doesn’t?”

This campaign, which was launched in 2014, has seen an average reduction of 46% in the levels of dog fouling in its pilot areas. Research suggests that dog fouling tends to occur at night time and during the winter months, as some dog owners feel that they can’t be seen ‘under the cover of darkness’.

The ‘We’re watching you’ signs are visible after dark and use innovative, cutting-edge materials, which ‘charge up’ during the day to glow in the dark at night.

The campaign is built upon research which has shown that dog walkers are more responsible and pick up after their dogs when they think that they are being watched. Driffield Town Clerk Claire Binnington said she hoped the signs would have an impact in the town.

She said: “Both the 2011 and 2015 consultation questionnaires showed dog fouling to be one of the greatest concerns of residents. “We hope these signs will remind the minority of dog owners who leave their dog’s mess on the pavements to think twice and clear it up.

“We have focused the signs on routes to our local schools and have already had requests from people in areas without the signs for them to be installed. “We will closely monitor the scheme to see how successful it is and, if it is proving to be successful and having an effect, then we would look to extend it to other areas of the town.”

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