Tough ac­tion needed to tackle dog mess

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

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.

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