A COUNCIL is to get tough on dog owners who are letting their pets defecate in a major public graveyard.

Dog wardens are to start patrolling Clitheroe Cemetery where irresponsible dog-owners are allowing their pets to foul among graves.

The cemetery is one of several ‘action zones’ targeting people who repeatedly leave pet mess uncollected in public.

Dog wardens will be sweeping the cemetery and other dog-fouling hotspots in Clitheroe, Longridge, Barrow, Whalley, Billington, Wilpshire, Read and Mellor.

The new move is a bid to catch the culprits blighting the Ribble Valley borough with dog dirt.

Dog walkers who fail to pick up after their pets will be given a £100 on-the-spot penalty or a day in court and a possible fine of up to £1,000.

Ribble Valley Council receives at least one complaint about dog fouling a day and spends £30,000 a year disposing of it.

Heather Barton, its head of environmental health, said: “Dog-fouling is the subject of constant complaints. Many dog owners are picking up their pet poop, then simply hanging it on tree branch!

“This has got to stop and dog warden patrols have been stepped up in hotspots like Clitheroe Cemetery.”