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The council’s planning and environment committee was considering an annual report from the animal services department when the issue of errant dog faeces was raised.
Cr Steve Walker noted only 24 complaints were received about dogs fouling footpaths between July 2020 and June 2021, and asked whether it was likely that the problem was being under-reported.
Council compliance solutions manager Ros MacGill agreed that this was probably the case.
Cr Walker went on to praise the efforts of the Poo Off Our Paths (Poop) group in tackling the problem, and said he often saw dogs off their leashes when he travelled through areas where a leash was required.
He asked if there was a correlation between dogs being off-leash and instances of fouling of footpaths, and what could be done under current resource constraints to address the problem.
Ms MacGill said she could not say for sure there was a correlation, but ‘‘dog owners do get distracted’’.
The council could direct animal services staff to focus on particular problem areas to tackle the issue, she said.
Speaking after the meeting, Cr Walker said leaving it up to dog owners to do the right thing had not been working.
He said the efforts of groups such as Poop to provide bins for disposing of dog faeces had shown a possible solution, and suggested the council should itself provide more ‘‘strategically placed dog poo bins’’ to help owners do the right thing.