Dog Poo! An ongoing problem affecting public spaces in the UK, it is horrible to see it lying on the ground but even worse to step in. It is estimated that dogs in the UK produce around 1000 tonnes of dog poo per day, equivalent of roughly half an olympic sized swimming pool. That is A LOT of poo. Imagine the environment in which we would live if no one picked up dogs in their care’s waste! If dog faeces is not picked up and disposed of appropriately it can be harmful to people and the environment. Dog poo contains numerous different parasites and harmful bacteria including:-
- Hookworms – these can cause respiratory symptoms in human once the hookworm larvae have reached the lungs, diarrhoea, fatigue and blood loss.
- Ringworms – symptoms of infection in humans include vary between a red, irritated ring on the skin to blisters and pus-filled sores around the rings.
- Tapeworms – symptoms of infection in humans include abdomen pain, vomitting, diarrhoea, dizziness, malnutrition and jaundice.
- Salmonella – symptoms of infection in humans include Vomitting, diarrhoea, fever and headache
- E.coli – common symptoms in humans include sever stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting. It can cause serious blood and kidney problems which can lead to kidney failure, long-term disability or death in some children and older adults.
- Fecal coliform bacterial – symptoms in humans include diarroah, vomitting and sever dehydration.
Local authorities are estimated to spend £22 million per year on trying to combat the problem of dog waste. In many areas it does not seem to be working so if more funding is available in local authorities does dog waste collection need to be a priority or is investing in local health services, housing and education more important? Imagine if dog waste was not an issue, everyone collected it and disposed of it appropriately and an extra £22 million could be redirected somewhere else within the local communities.
Dog Poo and the Law!
You can now be given an on the spot fine between £50 and £80 (depending on the local authority) if you do not clean up after your dog. Refusal to pay the fine can lead to you being taken to court and fined up to £1000. Some local authorities are striker and now fine if you are not carrying a poo bag if you are out walking your dog.
Increasing the number of dog poo bins available is one way which has had success but some local authorities have tried more radical solutions to the problem including:-
- Spraying the poo and bright colour to highlight it all to inconsiderate dog owners and walkers.
- Little flags have been placed on top of piles of poo.
- A tree was decorated with all of the poo-filled plastic bags that had been flung into the hedges and grass.
- Volunteers identified dog owners and they were named and shamed.
- The Bis Scoop! A campaign run by the Dogs Trust to get public support to help combat the problem.
- A Poover – a hoover developed to suck up the dog poo.
- A dog warden stake out! Where they catch irresponsible owners in the act.
- DNA testing to identify the owners of the dogs.
- Banning dogs from public places.