We are close to Calderdale Council preparing another missive on the dog poo problem. Last year it was put forward as more than this, from memory they were also bothered about the problem of collecting stray dogs and attacks by the said dogs.
As any restrictions that Calderdale wished to introduce last year would have had no impact on stray dogs then I think that we can presume that they might well have realised this themselves now.
I think that we need to ask ourselves a few questions related to dogs:
(1) Is dog poo left on the ground unpleasant and a health hazard.
(2) Should dog owners pick it up
(3) Should fines be imposed if they don’t bag it and bin it
(4) Should dogs be on a lead in public parks
(5) Should restriction be imposed to regulate where dogs are allowed
We also should ask some other questions:
(6) Do dogs require socialisation
(7) Do dogs require free running
(8) Are there sufficient bins for dog owners to deposit their bags
(9) Are the presents laws against dog fouling imposed
(10) Would any new restrictions have any impact on the current position
Clearly dog poo is at best very unpleasant, it should be picked up and if the circumstances demand it then the owners should be fined. I would hope that reminders would ensure that errant owners mended their ways. The gardeners or other officials in the park should be able to ask an owner to put his dog/s on a lead if they were being a nuisance. There are some restriction already present in some Halifax parks, I can see no reason for changing this.
A well adjusted dog must have an opportunity to exercise, explore, sniff, scent and urine mark.
It must also socialise with other dogs and people. This can only be done off the lead. It is only safe to do this in a public enclosed area rather than to force people onto less safe areas.
The removal of dog poo is very important wherever the dog is, it is incumbent upon the Council to provide sufficient bins and also to ensure that they are emptied. Calderdale do not do too badly in this respect.
There are irresponsible dog owners and they do need to be educated in a way which may elicit a response. Current regulations which have never been properly applied do allow for this to be done.
New regulations would not alter this at all, if the Council are to budget for additional funds to cover dog fouling then I am totally in favour of this but to simply alienate responsible dog owners will achieve nothing.
All I can do is to hope that Councillors exhibit sound common sense to tackle the dog poo problem but I doubt that they will.
Why, I don’t know but perhaps I have little confidence in them. We will see and I expect that we will hear from our guardians of the district.