On my regular walks around the village (and particularly on the King George Playing Field) I have noticed that, very recently, we seem to have a problem with irresponsible dog owners not clearing up after their dogs – and, as a dog owner myself, I get particularly offended as it means that we are all tarred with the same brush.
Dog mess is an eyesore and a health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog messes in a public place. Look out for bins marked as dog bins to dispose of your dog bag. If you cannot find a dog bin, then double wrap the dog bag and place it in a normal litter bin.
The system of controlling dog fouling under public spaces protection orders was introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It is an offence not to clean up dog mess and a person who doesn't clean up after their dog may face an on-the-spot fine of up to £80. These fines are known as fixed penalty notices. If a person refuses to pay they can be taken to the local Magistrates Court for the dog fouling offence and fined up to £1,000.
"The message is simple: Bag it and bin it -- any rubbish bin will do."
Dog fouling can be particularly dangerous for children. In one confirmed case in Winsford, a young women caught the toxocara parasite from dog dirt on a local playing field when she was three years old. Children are particularly susceptible to the parasite, and she is now 80% blind in one eye.
Fiona Reynolds, Director of Public Health said: "The biggest threat to public health from dog fouling is toxocariasis -- an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits.
"If you or your child have come into contact with dog fouling, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. If you urgently need medical help but it's not life threatening, call the NHS '111' helpline."
Please keep Tarvin clean!