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“It’s no different to a type of littering.”

The Waitaki District Council is concerned about an increase in the amount of dog poo being left in public places.

Senior compliance officer Tristan Hope said the issue had been brought to the council’s attention before lockdown.

Mr Hope suspected it was a small minority of dog owners who habitually did not pick up after their pets. If those people walked the same route frequently, the poo would build up.

“People should be carrying dog poo bags so they can tidy up after their dogs.”

It was not just dog poo people should be wary of.

On Wednesday, an Oamaru woman was dismayed to discover her dog had rolled in human excrement at Cape Wanbrow.

Waitaki District Council communications specialist Lisa Scott said most of the council’s public toilets were closed during lockdown, so she could empathise if someone had experienced an “emergency”.

“You would not just go in the bush unless you really had to,” Miss Scott said.

She recommended people used the toilet before they left home.

Mr Hope also encouraged dog owners to become familiar with where they could exercise their dogs off lead and where a lead was needed.

“The main considerations are always to keep your dog under effective control.”

This applied regardless of whether they were out on a walk or at home.

Dogs that were kept outside should not be able to freely leave their property.

It was especially important for people to control their dogs during lockdown. If dogs wandered off or caused an issue, it was more likely that people would need to interact, Mr Hope said.

“But if we can avoid it, that’s what we want.”