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Dog Litter Supplement

In this dog poo item we briefly point out: (1) Diseases (associated with dog excrement), (2) Disposal (best practice), (3) Environmental Protection Act 1990:

(1) Diseases

Dog faeces are one of the most common carriers of at least the following infestations/diseases:

Heartworms
Hookworms
Roundworms
Tapeworms
Whipworms

(Do have your dog wormed regularly.)

Campylobacteriosis
Cryptosporidiosis
Corona
E. Coli
Giardiasis
Parvo
Salmonellosis

Worms are worth a special mention (if not a special award for hard-bitten tenacity). The pesky little critters are virtually indestructible once they get into soil via casual dog litter dispersal habits. Believe it or not, vast legions of these tiny beings can lurk around in the substrate along walkies routes for up to a decade, waiting for their chance to spring unexpectedly into action on any potential host.

As ‘dog litter’ is being topped up daily, it of necessity follows that its pestilence and disease cargo increases daily too (sort of exponentially). This accumulation in the soil is not helped by a common assumption that dog poo is the same as, for example, cow poo. “Oh, it’s all just good ol’ manure – innit? You know, part of the natural order of all things bright and beautiful.” Would that this were so – but, it aint. Dog litter is distinguished from soil nutritious cow pies by being nothing less than highly toxic waste.

God bless our living soil’s healthy ecology and all the susceptible wild/domestic creatures, including us humans, when dog mess is randomly strewn underfoot. Especially at risk are young children, who (naturally enough) are nearer to the ground and thus to any pollution down there where they run and play.

(2) Disposal

“Bag it, bin it”. Yes, that’s much better than doing nothing, of course (and more rational than festooning strange fruit in trees, or chucking bags of canine faecal matter into the long grass). So, we promote bag/bin as the very least that responsible dog owners can do. However, the ideal solution for dog poo disposal is to NOT bin it.

Instead, take it home (in a bag) and simply FLUSH the poo down the loo (whilst retaining the bag for separate disposal (ideally, by incineration).

The sewage works deals with dog waste as efficiently as our usual effluent. And, in either case (bag-bin / bag-flush), ALWAYS wash hands after disposal (even if they’re thought to be clean, they’re probably microscopically contaminated).

A word about rubbish tips and plastic. Binned dog poo carted off to landfill sites actually creates as many problems (maybe more) than it solves. And this by centralising massive reserves of the stuff where it can (intensively) leak back into the environment. Also, we have a global plastic bag pandemic of oceanic proportions to consider. Plastic bags wreak indiscriminate bio-havoc and take 10,000 years to completely break down. However, there are ‘flushable dog poo bags’ (which, it is claimed, harmlessly dissolve in water). These are cost-efficient and available on the internet.

So, very best dog litter disposal practice? Flush your dog’s toxic waste down a toilet, burn the collection bag (or, test water-soluble flush bags), and then (thoroughly) wash hands afterwards. Sorted.

(3) Environmental Protection Act 1990

“Dog owners must, by law, pick up any mess made by their pets in public places such as roads, footpaths, school playing fields, sports fields, parks. Wiltshire Council enforcement officers can issue on-the-spot fixed penalty notices [up to £1000] and refer offenders for prosecution. If people spot someone not clearing up after their dog they can report incidents by ringing 0300 456 0100 or via the Wiltshire Council website at http://is.gd/dogfouling.”

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4 comments

  1. Ann Hopkins

    The item on dog litter would make anyone who cared, wish to avoid the behaviour which renders such information necessary. Unfortunately the people guilty of leaving the foul mess to spoil our environment, just don’t care and think it’s a good thing to do.
    How can their negligence be changed?

  2. haikurambler

    Thanks for your comment, Ann. Experience teaches that if people know what happens as a result of their actions it can change their behaviour, in this case the massive problem of irresponsible dog poo disposal, This information needs to be more widely available. Let’s spread the word.

  3. Andy Watts

    It’s a very interesting idea. As the responsible owner of a rescue greyhound I always pick and use cheap food bags that come on a roll from a certain well known supermarket. On a different note, we did have some kerbside bins in my part of Salisbury but they seem to have been removed.

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