Welsh Witterings: The Question of Dog Poop
I love dogs and over the years I’ve owned a few. Indeed I miss owning a dog and hope that one day I’ll have the time and space to own another, but my time and patience for the dog owners who bag their dogs excrement and leave it all over the place has reached minus figures. I’m talking about those mindless individuals who bag their dogs poo and hang it from trees or leave it on paths.
The Government guidelines are that ‘The local council must keep public areas like parks, playgrounds and pavements clear of dog mess.’ This has led to the ‘bag it and bin it’ campaigns which were supposed to eradicate the dog mess issue. However, as my daily walk reveals the bins are often overflowing with bags full of dog excrement resulting in a fly ridden, foul smelling hazard and some dog owners think that it’s fine to just bag dog whoopsies and leave them willy-nilly. During my walk today in a park popular with young families and dog walkers alike, I saw both dog poo on the grass areas and bagged by benches picnic areas and overflowing from the bins.
I believe that dog mess can blight even the most attractive walks and spoil a boisterous walk out with children or a leisurely adult stroll. Dog poo is a menace, apart from being unpleasant it’s a nightmare to clean off shoes and spreads disease, but whilst dog poo bags may feel like a solution what they are actually doing is preserving organic matter in an ecologically expensive plastic bag and sending it to a landfill, where it cannot decompose.
I understand that some biodegradable bags are now available and this is great news, but only if owners are responsible and dispose of the bags appropriately. Dog mess must be cleaned up there is no question about it, as it can spread diseases including campylobacter, tapeworm, hookworm, roundworm, giardia and E.coli, and more rarely salmonella.
So, I am all for getting the dog poop off the paths, but what we do with it once poop scooped I think needs some serious consideration, because overflowing dog waste bins on walks and dog waste sent to landfills or incinerated is surely not the way forward. After all our dog population is growing and so is their daily business.