Tough action needed to tackle dog mess
It is pleasing to hear that action is to be taken on dog walkers who allow our pavements to be littered with dog mess. The problem has gone on far too long and despite numerous signs warning owners, the disgusting state of our footpaths continues apparently unabated. Canterbury council’s decision to fine walkers who cannot provide at least two poo bags when asked is a step, so to speak, in the right direction and should be considered by other authorities. However, it needs to be properly policed and then enforced, and will have inevitable pitfalls. Overall, what is needed is tough action and not lip service paid to what is an issue that really riles people in their neighbourhoods. Canterbury council reveals that only one fine has been dished out to an errant owner.
We can only think that this person must have made it so obvious as to have almost invited the penalty, given the number of others who clearly get away with their revolting behaviour. Some have even resorted to the imbecilic practice of actually going to the trouble of picking up the mess and then hanging the bag in a bush or branch of a tree.
Non-dog owners will say that this whole issue is all the fault of the dog-owning community not being able to get its house in order. The truth is, however, that dog owners get a double whammy; not only are they revolted by the mess like everyone else, they are also ashamed about the problem: they want action probably more than anyone else and understand that the public tolerance level is at its limit.
They worry that beach bans will be introduced and extended where they already exist, and be imposed in areas where children play, such as fields.
The council’s action is welcome, but maybe more is needed in terms of a wholehearted onslaught on people who allow their dogs to foul public areas, such as naming and shaming and social media activity. The act of not cleaning up after your dog should be seen for what it is: a vile anti-social practice with potentially dangerous health consequences.