Fido the dog muck-sucking machine

Fido the dog muck-sucking machine is now out and about on the streets of Plymouth.

The waterfront and the Barbican areas have been getting the 'Fido' treatment, with Fido standing for "faeces intake disposal operation", an all-terrain buggy that can be used for grassed and paved areas.

The machine has a collection unit which removes dog faeces from grass or hard surfaces without causing damage. Once collected, it is mixed with disinfectant and water, to be turned into slurry for easy disposal. A disinfectant can also be sprayed once faeces have been removed.

Cabinet Member for the environment, councillor Brian Vincent said: "There is nothing worse than dog muck on our streets and we would like to stress this does not let dog owners off the hook.

"Most owners do the right thing, but the few who do not can have a serious impact – we are trying to minimise the impact."

Dogs commonly carry a parasitic worm called Toxacara whose eggs are passed out with the faeces into the soil. The eggs can cause an illness called Toxocariasis, with symptoms ranging from fever and wheezing to eye infections which can lead to blindness.

There are 340 dog bins across the city, which are emptied every week, with many emptied daily.

The council can take legal action against dog owners who do not pick up after their pets. Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued to owners and they can be fined £80 which must be paid within 14 days.

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