Anti Dog Fouling Campaign
|Pupils at Hawksworth Primary School drew posters asking owners to clean up after their dogs...|
There was an evening meeting of the Anti Dog Fouling Campaign at on 8 September at the Hawksworth Wood Children’s Centre. Local residents, councillors and council officials discussed how to deal with people whose dogs foul in the street and what we can do together to get rid of this problem.
Local councillor Fiona Venner has been leading the campaign against dog fouling. In addition to the disgusting mess contaminating our streets and public open spaces, dog excrement creates significant health risks for the local community.
It is estimated that 7 million dogs in the UK produce 1,000 tonnes of excrement per day. If children come into contact with dog excrement, they can contract toxocariasis. This comes from toxocara (roundworm) eggs, which are often present in dog excrement.
Infective eggs are tiny, and remain on grass and soil in gardens and play areas for many months, long after the visible excrement has been washed away by the rain. These eggs are not killed by normal amounts of household bleach, which sometimes makes them more infective. Most children contract toxocariasis from children’s play areas or the street.
Toxocariasis can lead to blindness in children. There are approximately 100 reported cases per year, with 50 leading to serious eye problems.
Leeds City Council's Inner West Community Committee combined with local residents, Hawksworth Wood Primary School, the Police, Housing Leeds, HAVA and Hawksworth Wood Community Association (HWCA) to tackle the issue. Children attending Hawksworth Wood Primary School took part in a drawing competition to encourage owners to clear up after their dogs. Winning entries are being made into metallic signs, funded by HAVA, which will soon be seen around the estate.
The School Council wrote a letter which every child took home about the impact of dog fouling on their lives. A leaflet about the health risks of dog fouling, which incorporates some of the children's designs, is available from the Vesper Road Surgery.
A highlight of the campaign was the HWCA Family Fun Day on 24 May, which included a dog show to bring dog owners together to hear about the campaign. Over 100 people attended the show with categories including cutest dog, best trick and best sausage catcher!
If every dog owner wormed their pet and cleared up after them, toxocariasis would be virtually eliminated.
The meeting on 8th September looked at enforcement issues - how to catch irresponsible dog owners who fail to clear up after their dogs. If a few people are fined for these offences, word will quickly spread and it may help to stop this problem.
Last updated 11 September 2015 at 12:50. Back to the top
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