Up to 400 ski-tourers a day use an alpine climbing route in St. Johann im Pongau which is designed for ski touring - and many have dogs with them. For weeks skiers, climbers and local farmers have been complaining about the mess the dogs leave behind in the snow - saying that the poo is a slip hazard and unhygienic.
"We have a problem with the many dog owners who enjoy ski touring and let their dogs run free - and then spoil the experience for anyone else enjoying the mountain,” the mayor of St. Johann, Günter Mitterer, told the ORF. “These dogs are contaminating the ski slopes, and many owners aren’t cleaning up after them," he added.
Mitterer said that the dog mess was a particular nuisance this year as there has not been much snow, so skiers and ski touring groups are all using the same areas on the mountain where there has been a good covering of snow.
The mayor said that currently the law stipulates that dogs must be on the leash when walking in the town and that it would be a shame if this had to be extended to the mountains. He is appealing to ski-tourers to clean up after their pooches and has published an article in the local newspaper about the problem.