Crackdown on dog fouling at Penclawdd rugby pitch
FOUL play has been hitting games of rugby — but it has nothing to do with the players.
Officials at Penclawdd Rugby Club are being forced to pick up shovels and clean their pitch before every home game because of thoughtless owners allowing their dogs to make a mess.
The club treasurer has even described how on occasions young players have been "smeared" in dog mess after falling into poo during a game.
Now police, Swansea Council, the club and community councillors are hoping to call time on the irresponsible owners who are allowing their pets to foul the pitch.
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Penclawdd RFC treasurer and Llanrhidian Higher Community Council member John Guy said: "This is a real problem — and it is getting worse.
"Before games, club officials have to take shovels and remove dog faeces from the pitch — this happens on Saturdays and Sundays and during the week for schools games.
"We have had young players falling in dog mess and ending up smeared in it. There are obvious health concerns about, but people still let their dogs do it.
"We put up signs saying 'No Dogs' but within 24 hours they are torn down."
Police and Swansea Council enforcement officers have now stepped up patrols in the area and are warning people that on-the-spot fines will be handed out to those who don't clean up after their dogs.
Gower PCSO Andy Brown said: "The message is simple — we are absolutely not against dog walkers, however they have a responsibility to clean the dog mess up as dogs cannot do it themselves.
"This is especially when they allow their dogs on to playing fields which are used by various sporting groups including children.
"Please [would they] carry dog mess bags with them and clean the mess thoroughly.
"Most dog walkers are responsible, however the situation has now got worse therefore enforcement officers and police will be patrolling all areas of concern and will deal with offenders by means of fixed penalty notices if need be."
The PCSO said poo problems had also been reported at Graig y Coed and Llanmorlais playing fields, and that the bag-it blitz would cover those areas too.
A Swansea Council spokesman said Penclawdd rugby pitch had been blighted by dog fouling, and that action was being taken.
And he warned that owners who did not clean up their pet's mess would be hit with a fine.
"Our enforcement officers are working with the local PCSOs and the rugby club to patrol a number of playing fields that have been blighted by dog fouling," he said.
"Dog owners in the community need to be more responsible for their pets and not allow them to foul public areas, especially where children play or where sports activities take place.
"We have over 500 dog poo bins in the county, including one at Penclawdd rugby field.
"Pet owners will be issued with a fixed penalty notice if we catch them allowing their pets to foul public areas."