Cardiff Council is making new efforts to force dog owners to clean after their dogs. Are dog messes a real issue, or overstated?
People can enjoy a cleaner and safer public environment since dog walkers in Cardiff will have to obey more restrictive dog control regulations.
The introduction of a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control will allow for proactive enforcement, as dog owners who can’t prove they have means of clearing up after their animals will face £100 fines.
Some young people feel confused about the PSPO for dog control, wondering whether the dog mess issue is overstated.
“I haven’t particularly seen a huge amount of dog mess, not in parks or anywhere, so I don’t think that’s a big deal,” said Thea Murray, a Cardiff University student. “I think dogs are good to people, they just make people happy seeing them out in the street.”
However, the issue of irresponsible dog ownership in Cardiff has been a growing concern because dog mess is not only unpleasant but also can lead to serious illness in humans such as Toxocariasis, a rare infection caused by roundworm parasites, which are most commonly found in cats, dogs and foxes.
“Personally, I get very upset if I see dog mess, because it causes lots of problems, especially for little kids, I know someone who went blind completely in one eye from dog mess, so I like to shout at dog owners if they don’t pick up that,” said Nia Jones, a parent.
Since bylaws across Cardiff against dog control used to vary from different times of implementation and changes in legislation, the PSPO for dog controls will ensure a consistent approach to enforcement across public land in Cardiff.
“The problem is a lot of these things were parts of a different act in different places, so what they’ve done now is putting them all together,” said Bowers. “Some used to only work in very small areas of the city, but there are irresponsible dog owners on every part.”
However, current budget cuts could make it difficult to guarantee the implementation of those enforcement measures, which suggests that a better way to actually change people’s behaviour may still be educating people about the better response.
Therefore, Cardiff Council is setting up a Green Dog Walkers Scheme, and Cardiff Dog Action Group are also working to work with the council on all different ways to make people realise their responsibility as dog owners.
“Dog shows are a great way to do that, we will get one on Hailey park at the end of June,” said Bowers. “We’re trying to make it fun, trying to attract as many people as possible to get the message across through events like that.”
Lovely Dogs in Bute Park
Uploaded by Wenxin Fang on 2019-03-26.