Racecourse cries foul over dog poo

Otago Racing Club general manager Rebecca Adlam is asking dog owners to remove their pet’s poo...
Otago Racing Club general manager Rebecca Adlam is asking dog owners to remove their pet’s poo from Wingatui Racecourse. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
If dog owners do not clean up their act, the gates at Wingatui Racecourse may be locked to keep the public out, the Otago Racing Club says.

Club general manager Rebecca Adlam said a 2km-long gravel track at the racecourse was available for the public to use for activities such as walking, running, teaching children to ride bikes and exercise dogs.

"Dog poo has been left on the track and my staff have to clean it up each day — which is really unfair," Miss Adlam said.

"We want people to use the facility— because it’s part of the community — but we want people to respect it is a workplace first."

If dog owners continued to fail to pick up after their pets, the club might exclude the public.

"If it doesn’t improve we have to do something, maybe that is we have to lock the gates for a period of time until people get the message."

Locking the gates was a last resort, she said.

"We ask for people to respect the rules."

The club preferred the public use the racecourse after 11.30am.

A dog walked on the racecourse before then must be on a lead, she said.

Horses’ trainers ensured the tracks were clean after using the track, she said.

"So why should dog poo be left?"

The racecourse was a popular location for wedding parties to have photos taken.

Dog poo on a white wedding dress "just doesn’t go well".

People attending events at the racecourse — such as a car boot sale this Sunday — were often visiting the facility for the first time.

"People are walking the track and they’re dodging dog poo."

The racecourse was owned by the club.

Dunedin City Council animal services team leader Peter Hanlin said people who failed to pick up after their pets risked receiving a $300 infringement notice.

The problem was ongoing and "a cause of complaints across the city", Mr Hanlin said.

Dog owners must carry and display suitable bags for picking up after their pets.

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People. You can't let them in anywhere.

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