HUNDREDS of upset and angry dogwalkers are calling on the council to stop using a weed killer as they fear it is making their beloved pooches seriously ill.

More than 350 concerned pet owners, from across the district, have signed a petition pleading with Tendring Council to revise its use of a Glyphosate-based weed killer.

Believed to be used by authority’s across the country, the chemical spray has previously been linked with causing cancer and its potential risks are often debated.

Helen Badham, 56, lives a short walk from Frinton's much-loved Greensward, alongside her four-year-old half-poodle and half-Cypriot terrier, Molly.

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The inseparable pair frequently embark on daily walks, and Molly has always enjoyed playing on the Greensward as part of the early morning expeditions.

But Miss Badham has now vowed never to take her dog to the open seafront space again, unless Tendring Council stops using a “harmful” weed killer.

“My dog fell ill after a walk on the Greensward and by teatime she was vomiting, and blood was coming out, so I rushed her to the vets,” she said.

“After four days she finally got better, so we went for another walk on the Greensward, and then all of a sudden she couldn’t walk and was really lethargic.

“I am really worried for my dog and it is really frightening, because she doesn’t seem to be getting any better and I have had to spend hundreds of pounds because of it.

“It has broken my heart because I will not take my dog there anymore, but she used to love it, so I am really angry and upset about it.”

Miss Badham says Molly has always been in fine health, so is positive the chemical spray being used by the council is the reason for her sickness.

She has since curated an online survey encouraging other dog owners to come forward if they have experienced similar issues, and the response has been overwhelming.

This has then resulted in a petition being created, which, at the time of writing, had been signed by 381 people, all calling for Glyphosate to be banned.

Sharon Scarfe, also from Frinton, is just one of the many dog and cat owners to have backed the petition.

"My two dogs have both been poorly and we walk along the Greensward nearly everyday," she said.

"It seems a bit of a coincidence that so many other dogs are poorly too and there is some controversy to whether that type of killer is dangerous or not."

Tendring Council has since said its use of the weed killer is in line with nationwide guidelines.

The authority also believes there is no evidence to suggest the dogs in Frinton, or across Tendring, would have fell ill because of the chemical spray.

“It is appreciated the use of herbicides can be controversial," a spokesman said.

"It is our considered opinion that by using a herbicide approved for use by DEFRA, in accordance with the HSE Code of Practice and guidance provided by BASIS, that we are operating safely with due regard for people and the environment.

"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."