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DOG lovers wondered if council staff had turned detective to spy on their four-legged friends — after being told they could face court for putting poo from their gardens in public bins.

Owners are kicking up a stink over a warning that has appeared on the dog waste bins at popular spots for walking the pets in Somerset.

The notice reads: ‘This dog waste bin is provided for the disposal of dog fouling arising from dog walking only.

‘The bin is not provided for the disposal of dog waste from residents’ gardens. Disposal of such waste in this way is classed as fly-tipping. Anyone caught fly-tipping will be prosecuted.’

Residents in Highbridge and Burnham claimed it was bizarre that Sedgemoor District Council was warning them against disposing of dog poo in bins specifically intended for it.

Jacky Pelling said: ‘Are they lurking round a corner waiting to see if your dog has recently had a poo? Are they checking when you put it in the bin to see if it’s fresh?’

Julian Wellings said: ‘Sedgemoor District Council are happy to fleece me of £2,000 a year in council tax, but are opposed to homeowners disposing of dog waste in a responsible manner?’

Council spokeswoman Claire Faun said the bins were too full at times and the notices were intended to ‘raise awareness’ of the ban on bringing dog poo from home. It did not cost anything to put up the signs, she added.