With the return of the birds to our hedgerows my attention is drawn to their cheerful songs and an increasing number of discarded bags of dog poo hung from branches.
Following a few warmer days it is quite noticeable when out for my early morning walks how the air is filled with the sounds of blackbirds and other birds singing to welcome the day.
However, I have also become aware of an increasing number of plastic bags filled with faeces hung like Christmas decorations on trees and bushes.
I do not understand why some humans feel the need to pick up biodegradable poop and hang it in a rot proof bag on a branch.
It really does not make any sense why the humans can not dispose of our waste correctly and keep the countryside clean.
Sadly the habit is not restricted to my local community in Cumbria.
On the Lancashire and West Yorkshire border a tree was recently festooned with purple bags to highlight the problem. Whilst during a campaign in 2009 a Slough Borough Council said: “Not only does it look unsightly having bags full of dog poo hanging from the trees, but it isn’t the healthiest of pastimes either, for the person involved or residents.”
Every dog owner should be aware that it is their legal requirement to clean up the waste left behind by their dog.
Dog waste is not only an extremely unpleasant and unwelcome commodity it is also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria (Campylobacter and Salmonella) and other forms of infection.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) dog waste can be placed in normal litter bins without posing a health hazard.
Not only is the poo a hazard but so are the plastic bags. Many bags I see are non biodegradable, in other words they will hang around for years.
This not only looks horrible but is also a danger for animals and birds. The bright colours may attract some wildlife to peck at the bags to swallowing non rotting plastics.
Starch and vegetable oil derived bags can be used to take your waste home or if in a really remote location used to move it away from paths and then safely buried out of sight and harms way.
The Forestry Commission also operate a “stick and flick” policy in some woodland areas, which means if a dog fouls near a densely wooded area you can flick it away from passing foot traffic into the undergrowth using a stick.
Now before I go, take note of one story I read about in Texas, USA. Doggie ‘doo’ is apparently enough of a problem in some North Texas apartment complexes that a DNA swab is taken from the dog and checked against any poo found in the area.
Until next time
Licks and wags
Charlie and Rufus