WORRIED dog owners and eco-warriors are again calling on council officials to stop using what they believe to be a harmful weed killer.

Pesticide-Free Frinton-on-Sea is a community campaign group comprised of like-minded residents who want to ban the use glyphosate in the town.

For at least the past two years many of its members have reported their dogs falling severely ill after embarking on routine walks around the area.

Those whose poorly pooches have been impacted say issues arise after Tendring Council contractors have sprayed pavements in Frinton with weed killer.

One survey conducted by a resident found more than 70 people in the area believed their dog had been poisoned by the substance.

The spray has previously been used by authorities across the country but now many are instead opting for herbicide-free methods.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Council workers in Frinton Council workers in Frinton

Colchester Council, for example, brought an end to its use of glyphosate-based weed killers earlier this year having announced in 2019 plans to phase it out.

Despite nearly 1,200 Frinton residents signing a petition calling on Tendring Council to ban its use, the authority maintains it is not harmful to dogs.

Tracey Quinn, of Frinton, who has two dogs, said: “We feel we are just getting fobbed off and nobody is listening to us, so we have come together to challenge it.

“Last month the pavements were sprayed and I did not know so I took my dog out for a walk and the next day he was ill and ended up at the emergency vets.

“Now I will not let him do things normal dogs do because it makes you stressful and anxious, so now when we walk it is not that pleasant for either of us.

“We are not here to save the world, we are just local women who have come together to try and make a change - we want to work with the council, not against them.

“Other councils have banned the use of glyphosate, so why can’t we?”

Sharon Scarfe, who has lived in the area for more than two years, has two Jack Russell dogs, one called Max and the other named Molly.

She added: “This has been an ongoing problem and we have spent hundreds of pounds on sickness medications.

“Our dogs are still having the same symptoms and trips to the vets are now a reoccurrence – and still nothing has changed.”

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Rosie Scott, also of Frinton, does not own any dogs but is backing the campaign from both an environmental and public health perspective.

She added: “This is not just animals, but it can seriously affect residents too, especially if they have breathing problems.

“This particular poison infects the cells of plants, but everything is made of cells and therefore it can infect all of them, even those the weed killer is not aimed at.

“It takes a lot of researching, and I did not understand any of this ten years ago, but you have to look at both sides of the coin, not just the one that tells you it is okay.”

A Tendring Council spokesman said its use of the herbicide is approved by DEFRA, in accordance with the HSE Code of Practice and guidance provided by BASIS.

“It is our considered opinion we are operating safely with due regard for people and the environment,” he added.

“This product is used extensively countrywide by farmers and councils and there is no evidence dogs have been made sick by it in a co-ordinated and consistent manner.

“Current government advice describes glyphosate as an important chemical for use in agriculture and transport and it is approved for use in the UK until 2022.

“That advice is under constant review and we will likewise continue to review use of this product.”