ONE thousand tonnes – that’s how much waste Britain’s eight million dogs are estimated to produce – EVERY day
And although successive campaigns have reduced the amount that is left to contaminate our environment, it remains one of the most common sources of complaints made to local authorities, which have reacted to the problem in a variety of ways.
Here in the UK, the provision of special bins and notices to remind dog owners of their obligations is the most common approach, while some councils have resorted to highlighting the offending deposits with fluorescent paint, or using wardens equipped with night vision goggles to catch after-dark offenders.
Another innovation has been to introduce special vacuum cleaners called ‘poovers’ which one observer likened to something out of Ghostbusters.
Abroad, though, they sometimes go a little further. A small town in Spain enlisted volunteers to identify offenders, and the poo was then returned to the owner in a box bearing the town insignia, marked ‘lost property’. Apparently, the campaign was very effective.
In Taiwan, residents of New Taipei City were offered a lottery ticket for every bag of poo they handed in. Officials collected 14,500 bags, halving the amount left in the city.
Some American housing estates even insist that residents’ dogs are DNA tested so any uncleared poo can be traced back to the owner.
Of course, some authorities simply ban dogs from public areas and while this is undoubtedly right in places such as children’s play areas and beaches, we can all, as dog owners, ensure that dogs are better accepted in our neighbourhood by ensuring that we do simply clean up after our pets.
Our local council makes special poo bags available to dog owners and at Northdale we are proud to be sponsoring this initiative.
You can collect the free bags from all our surgeries, and other outlets across the town.