Uckfield dog ban threat over fouling

Dog in park
Image caption Dog owners say animals need exercise for their health and happiness

Dogs could be banned from running freely in public areas in an effort to tackle increased fouling in parks.

Uckfield Town Council wants to make local residents keep their dogs on a lead in the majority of public spaces, including recreational grounds and woods.

It claims the problem of dog mess has become so bad groundsmen are having to wear protective masks and clothing.

But some residents in Uckfield believe the plans punish responsible owners.

Helen Firth, chairwoman of the environment and leisure committee, said: "We have instances where footballers who pay to use the football pitch, before they can start to play football have to go out with buckets to pick up dog faeces.

"Once you start to fine some people [for not using a lead] then it will gradually start to stop."

Professional dog walker Karen Wiles said: "It means we won't be able to let our dogs off the lead in any of the open space.

"Dogs running free and playing is vital to health and happiness."

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