Dog owners urged to ‘stick and flick’ countryside poo

A 'stick and flick' policy is being put forward

A 'stick and flick' policy is being put forward

Sussex 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 an MP is even set to raise the issue in a debate at the House of Commons.

Anne Main, the member for St Albans, a dog-owner herself, 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.

The Forestry Commission has supplied a poem which will help animal owners to get into the ‘stick and flick’ habit...

If your dog should do a plop, take a while and make a stop,

just find a stick and flick it wide into the undergrowth at the side.

If your dog should do a do, you don’t want it on your shoe,

find a stick, pick a spot, flick into the bushes so it can rot.

If you dog should do a poo, this is what you should do,

just find a stick and flick it wide into the undergrowth at the side.

If your dog should make a mess there really is no need to stress.

Find a stick; pick a spot, flick into the bushes so it can rot.