March 9 2014 Latest news:
Carlton Colville councillors are now spraying dog mess that has been left on the ground in a bid to shame owners in to clearing up after their pets. Jack Green (grey jumper) and Peter Tyler with the spray cans.
By Kathryn Bradley
Friday, February 28, 2014
It is an issue guaranteed to prompt strong opinions.
But one north Suffolk council is taking an unusual course of action to highlight a persistent problem.
Members of Carlton Colville Town Council have been armed with tins of brightly-coloured spray paint – so they can draw attention to piles of dog mess that blight local parks and footpaths.
The idea is to show just how bad the problem of dog fouling has become and shame owners into changing their bad habits. However, it has the added of advantage of helping people to avoid stepping in something unpleasant.
Town council chairman Jill Tyler said: “Like all areas, dog fouling is a problem in Carlton Colville.
“We have provided bins and continue to do so. Most of bins are for bagged dog waste and general waste.
“Because it is such a problem, we decided to take a different approach and look at what other councils have done.
“We noticed a couple had used luminous, water-based paint so we are giving it a try.
“We are going to spray paint it to highlight the problem – quite literally.”
Dog fouling can lead to an illness called toxocariasis, which is caused by roundworm parasites and is spread from animals to humans via infected faeces. Young children are particularly at risk of getting toxocariasis because their play habits make them more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil.
Most people will quickly make a full recovery and are unlikely to experience any long-term complications. However, if the infection is left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss in the infected eye.
Mrs Tyler said the town council had received a number of complaints about the problem caused by owners failing to pick up their dogs’ mess. She said: “We’ve been contacted by several parents whose children have walked in it. They have to clean the children afterwards and it can be quite upsetting for the young ones.
“Parents have said that highlighting it in the way we’re doing will be a good idea.”
She added: “One of the problems is that people take their dogs out as it is getting dark. They let them off the lead and they can’t see what they are doing. There is quite a problem with it on the skate park.
“What we are trying to say to people is: ‘please, clear up after your dogs’.”