Nothing says the beautiful outdoors more than when you come across a tree displaying dog poo bags as decorations, a bin overflowing with them; or playing ‘dodge the poo’ as you navigate Northern Ireland’s breathtaking hills on a walk. No? Well local comedian Shane Todd has teamed up with Walk NI again to put a stop to what is sadly becoming more and more common.
Featuring in Walk NI’s latest ‘The Right Side of Outside’ video, he is highlighting how dog owners are failing to take proper responsibility for cleaning up after their beloved furry companions.
Whilst many people do bring poop bags with them for clean ups, others continue with their outing even if they forget bags or they bag their dog waste but purposely choose to leave it behind in the outdoors, wrongly assuming they won’t do any harm. The reality however is that not only are you leaving trash behind (the plastic bags are bad for the environment) you’re leaving behind faeces that can seriously impact on children and the wildlife of that area.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is supporting the campaign and their Chief Executive Ian Humphreys commented “Unsightliness aside, abandoned dog poo pollutes the soil. A child playing in sand or dirt contaminated by dog faeces can spread salmonella or E. coli to the whole family. Also leaving faeces behind presents a real health threat to other dogs and wild animals including giardia and parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and cryptosporidium. Even closer to home, there are people in Northern Ireland whose lives have been changed forever, with some children being blinded by Toxocariasis.
“If you are a dog owner, we urge you to take more responsibility for your animal’s mess and protect our children from these real dangers. Dog poop may be ‘natural’, but that doesn’t make it harmless, so please bring it home and bin it.
“We want the outdoors to be enjoyed by all and to be protected for those that walk behind you, and for generations that walk ahead in the future.”
This latest call from Walk NI forms part of its ongoing national campaign ‘The Right Side of Outside’, aimed at helping those that explore the outdoors understand the wider implications of their actions.
From planning ahead, parking responsibly, bringing litter home, wearing appropriate footwear and clothing; to keeping your dog away from livestock and only camping or lighting a BBQ in a designated area. ‘The Right Side of Outside’ campaign will continue to roll out its messaging over the coming weeks as we approach warmer weather to inform people how they can make the right choices outdoors.
For more information on the campaign visit WalkNI.com or search #RightSideOfOutside
Watch Walk NI’s Latest Video around the issue of Dog Fouling on its Facebook.