Merton dog owners urged to be more responsible as council joins Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign
By Reaz Kurimbux
Merton dog owners are being urged to be more responsible as Merton Council joins Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign to clean up dog mess.
The charity’s month-long campaign, supported by 85 councils up and down the country, has one simple message: ‘Bag that poo – any rubbish bin will do’.
Council animal welfare officers will be out on road shows offering residents free micro-chipping for their dogs, free dog waste bags and advice on responsible dog ownership.
Councillor Andrew Judge, the Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: “The vast majority of dog owners are responsible people who care about our local streets and parks.
“They do the right thing and dispose of their dog’s mess properly – in a bin.”
The road shows will be taking place at Rock Terrace on 29 September from 11am to 2pm and at Joseph Hood Recreation Ground on 5 October from 11am to 1pm.
In an effort to keep dog mess off the streets, posters have gone up around the borough displaying the strap line ‘It happens: clean it up or face a fine up to £1,000.’
“Dog fouling is the most offensive type of litter on our streets,” Fiona Ashurst, Keep Britain Tidy’s Media and Communications Co-ordinator, said. “Quite simply people need to bag it and bin it.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s research shows that four out of five people do not know that they can use any general litter bin to dispose of bagged dog mess.
Ms Ashurst said: “Raising awareness through campaigning, educating and enforcement are key in fighting the problem and ridding our streets of dog mess.”
Keep Britain Tidy have also joined with the Kennel Club to launch a dog collar tag for responsible dog owners who pick up after their dogs.
The tag states ‘My Owner Cleans Up After Me’ and will be distributed to members of the Kennel Club’s responsible dog ownership groups, KC Dog and the Good Citizen Training Scheme.
KC Dog campaigns for dog owners’ rights to access open land in return for responsible dog ownership and these tags will help distinguish responsible dog owners from those who may act less responsibly.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The small minority of dog owners who fail to pick up after their dogs are not only potentially putting people’s health at risk but they are also spoiling things for responsible owners, who end up tarred with the same brush.”
Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcdog for more information about the KC Dog group.
Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dogtraining for more information about the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme.