They were hanging in the hedges, laying under leaves,
found behind the fence posts and tucked among the trees.
For the countryside and local walks abandoned dog poo is a sin,
so please be kind to nature and put it in your bin!
We need to talk about dog poo! Following a recent walk across the estate, we collected tens of abandoned, hidden and hanging faeces filled dog poo bags. Realising that we were facing a pandemic of a different kind, we felt compelled to write and post this poem on Facebook and Instagram. As dog owners ourselves we understand that carrying a swinging dog poo bag with you on the long walk between bins is not the most pleasant thing to do, however it is not only a responsibility that comes with dog ownership but it is vital that we do it for ourselves, our pets, the environment and wildlife .
But you can imagine many people asking why should they 'bag it and bin it', thinking that dog poo, like any other animal poo, will just break down in the environment over time. So we have created a set of signs for the footpaths that not only ask people to 'bag it and bin it, don't leave it', but also to explain why it is vital that they do so and these reasons, and more, are listed below.
Dog poo is full of bacteria, parasites and viruses which are dangerous to humans, especially to small ones. One of these, the roundworm parasite, can cause the infection Toxocariasis if people, mainly children, come into contact with the contaminated faeces, and sight loss is one of the worst possible consequences of this infection.
Dog poo is also toxic to other dogs and to wildlife. When bagged and abandoned it can also kill animals and birds that ingest the wrapping, as well as the contents being potentially lethal if they ingest that too.
Dog poo is not a fertilizer, it is a polluter. Even when it has broken down and disappeared from sight, the bacteria, parasites and viruses can live in the soil and remain toxically viable for up to a year. If bagged and abandoned, this wrapped dog poo can last even longer depending upon whether the poo bag used is plastic, biodegradable or compostable. If plastic it can last for up to 1,000 years. If biodegradable maybe three to six months, but the chemicals used in it's production will persist in the environment far longer. If compostable, it can still last up to three months before breaking down.
Dog fouling on all public access land in the open air is an offence, including footpaths and bridlepaths, and it is the dog owners legal duty to clean it up. There are local litter bins in Follifoot village and these should be used for disposing of dog faeces or they should be disposed of at home.
Clearing up after your dog is not only the courteous thing to do but a way to show your care for your dog, for others and for the environment. It will also make your dog walk a much nicer walk if everyone does the same. It is estimated that the UK's population of ten million dogs (2020 figures) produce about 1,400 tonnes of faeces every day, imagine how the countryside and footpaths would look if no one picked up their poo!
So please pick up after your dog, bag it and bin it and don't leave it, you will make a difference. Thank you.