PARENTS and children from Dinas Powys staged a protest last week against dog owners who fail to clean up after their animals.

The group were seeking to highlight the dangers of dog mess, which is a particular problem on Dinas Powys Common.

They have called on dog owners to use the bags and bins provided by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to keep the area clean.

One of the unhappy parents, Victoria Easton, said: "This is a terrible problem. “Children cannot be given their freedom to run around. “Even the wheels of our pushchairs get covered in faeces."

The parents are particularly concerned as the Common is in close proximity to St Andrew's Major Primary School - and they have been backed by Conservative AM Alun Cairns.

"This is a serious problem and can cause blindness,” said Mr Cairns.

“I appreciate the Common is used to exercise dogs but it is also used by children to run around and to play sports. “When they fall over their clothes end up being soiled by dog faeces. “It is easily spread and only needs to come in contact with eyes to cause blindness.

"A teacher from St Andrew's Major told me that he had to clean up the rugby pitch before he could allow the children to play.

"The Vale Council have responded extremely well when I raised the issue,” he added.

“They provide blue 'Poop bags' bags and have sited bins in the area."

Fixed penalty notices of £75 can be issued to irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.