03 October 2010

Lambeth tackles dog mess

Lambeth is one of councils across England who have joined Keep Britain Tidy in a campaign to wage war against irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after their pets. The campaign calls on dog owners to bag and bin their dog's mess under the slogan that 'there's no such thing as the dog poo fairy'.

Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, but can be dangerous. Fronting the campaign is two-year-old Amiee Langdon, who came to national attention last month when she tragically lost partial sight in her left eye after falling in dog mess. Amiee's mother, Suzanne, is calling on all dog owners to clean up after their pets to prevent anyone else suffering the same fate as her daughter.

Dog mess can be thrown in any general litter bin but a recent Keep Britain Tidy survey showed that only one in five people are aware of that fact. In recent years, there has been a growing problem in the UK of dog waste bags being found hanging on trees, on railings or stuffed in hedges. According to the survey it indicates that some dog owners are actually picking up their dog's mess, but are then simply dumping the bags.

Phil Barton chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy said "Dog fouling is the most offensive type of litter on our streets and is constantly rated by the public as one of the most important issues blighting their local area. Being a responsible dog owner means picking up after your pet. Having our streets and parks caked in dog mess is disgusting. It looks unsightly, can make areas appear run down and is dangerous to our health."

In addition to supporting the campaign, the council's environmental crime enforcement team will be patrolling the borough to ensure that dog owners clean up after their pets. Anyone caught not clearing up after their dog could be given an on-the-spot fine, or could face court prosecution.