DOG poo litter is up 200 per cent since lockdown, according to new research.

While walking the dog has become one of the few opportunities to get outside for some fresh air under Covid-19 restrictions, but rubbish collection company says that it has come at a stinking, germ-ridden cost.

The 200 per cent rise in dog poor is a clear indicator that not all dog owners are cleaning up after their pups - or bag the poo, and then dump the bag in the street or up a tree.

“It is disgusting to see that some dog owners are failing to pick up after their pets, when it’s an offence and the waste can lead to serious illnesses,” says spokesman Mark Hall.

“There is more poo than people on the streets of Taunton right now.”

Hall added: “Walking your dog is important for both pet and owner for exercise, especially while we are all house-bound during the lockdown.

“Unfortunately, thanks to the thoughtless behaviour by a few individuals, dog owners are once again getting a bad reputation due to a massive increase in dog mess on the streets.”

Thankfully, not all dog owners will leave poo on the pavement, as waste campaigners Keep Britain Tidy have found that nine out of 10 dog owners do regularly clean up after their dog.

The 10 per cent who do not clean up after their dog could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100 for failing to pick up their dog’s waste, which could go up to £1,000 if the issue goes to court.

And with good reason, because not only is dog mess unsightly, it can also be bad for your health.

In extreme circumstances, contact with dog poo can cause toxocariasis, an infection which can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma, and even blindness or seizures.

It’s often children who are the victims of falling into dog poo and putting themselves at risk of catching a nasty infection.

One girl, aged five, was traumatised and physically sick after falling face-first into dog poo at a Halifax park, while one Scottish family had a close call as their 11-month-old picked up and ate dog poo in a local picnic area.

Hall said: “We understand, it’s cold and we’ve had some snow recently, but thinking it’s quiet enough to get away with leaving it is no excuse not to pick up after your dog.

“The snow will eventually melt away, but your dog’s frozen turd will still be there for some poor bugger to step in.”