As a keen walker and frequenter of the various public trails and walks in and around my local town I am too often greeted by the sight of dog waste sitting proudly on the path, grass verge or gravelled areas. This is an issue that won’t go away over night, but it will never go away if pet owners and councils don’t take actions to improve the situation.
Many a scenic walk and public amenity as been spoilt by the presence of dog poop waste which can get on shoes, into cars and home, it smells, looks bad and is unhygienic. But most annoying it shows how little regard other dog owners have for the paths and parks that they use on a weekly or daily basis to walk their dog. Both dog and owner benefit from our public spaces to exercise, get fresh air, relax and unwind. But we don’t have to benefit from their local amenities at the expense of others.
Dog waste bins have been removed from popular walking areas as the cut backs in public spending has meant that the collecting and disposal of dog waste bins was a cost the councils weren’t willing to pay. This as the left onus on the pet owner to take care of their own affairs and take their dogs’ waste away with them and dispose of it themselves.
The Litter Pollution Act of 1997 made it mandatory for dog owners to remove their pets’ waste from public places and dispose of it in a proper manner. This applies to public roads and public footpaths, sports arenas, schools, beaches, parks, outside shops and shopping centres and around another person’s house. Fines of 150 to 3000 Euros can be handed out to those who fail to uphold the law.
However it is hardly the threat of a fine or court appearance that sees the majority of dog owners collecting their dog’s waste, in the most part owners do it because they value the parks and towns in which they walk their dog. They understand the collective responsibility that dog owners have and they know the benefits of removing their dogs waste from public areas.
There are a number of products available to make collecting as disposing of dog waste easy. Pooper scoopers and dog waste bags allow for a quick and easy way to collect dog waste without any mess, smell or fuss. Just like we bin used food packets, drinks bottles and plastic bags we also need to bin our dog waste. If we all did it then our public spaces would benefit and therefore everyone who used by would benefit too.