Dog owners urged to ‘stick and flick’ pet’s poo

The issue will be raised in a debate at the House of Commons.
The issue will be raised in a debate at the House of Commons.

Dog walkers are being urged to use a stick and flick their pet’s poo into the undergrowth, rather than bagging it up.

Advice from the Forestry Commission asks that dog walkers, while in the countryside, should ‘stick and flick’.

“No one likes to see discarded dog waste bags,” a spokesperson said.

“We are trying to encourage people to use ‘stick and flick’ in the forest. If your dog fouls the path in the forest please use a stick to remove the waste from the path into the undergrowth where it can break down naturally.”

And Tory MP Anne Main is to raise the issue in a debate at the House of Commons.

A dog-owner herself, she believes that the ubiquitous poo-filled bags hanging from trees are a nationwide problem. And research has found that in 2014-15, local authorities in England and Wales received 73,824 complaints about dog fouling.

Speaking to the BBC, the MP described the countryside blight of plastic bags as “a massive problem”.

“People think it’s the right thing to do to pick it up, but when they find there aren’t any bins, they jettison the poo-bag into the undergrowth or lob it over a garden fence where animals can eat them, children pick them up or cyclists ride into them,” she said.

During the debate she plans to call for better signage, advising people what to do with their animal waste, and is backing the ‘stick and flick’ guidance.

The Dogs Trust says that dog owners should use regular litter bins to dispose of dog mess if there are no special dog waste bins nearby.