Although most dog owners visiting Cogden and Hive Beach do the right thing by either taking their dog’s poo home or by using one of the bins provided, a new National Trust dog walking group has been set up to spread the words to others through the group named Pooo Pin (Poo out people in).
Pooo Pin volunteers are working with the National Trust and Bredy Veterinary Centre to spread the word about why it is important to pick up dog faeces. Everyone knows stepping in dog poo is unpleasant, but there are other less well known reasons why every dog owner should pick up after their pooch.
Contrary to common opinion dog poo is not the same as cow or sheep excrement. In fact it contains material that can seriously harm farm animals, such as the Neospora parasite which causes cows to abort their calves. National Trust Ranger Rowan Thompson says: “Local farmers are actually losing serious numbers of animals, with all the emotional and financial cost, due to dog mess being left on farmland. It’s really important to pick up, even if there are no cows or sheep grazing at the time.”
Matilda Manley, coordinator of the local Litter Free Coast and Sea campaign, added: “The bacteria in dog faeces can also affect local bathing water quality, so picking up at the coast is especially important.”
Encouraging dog owners to pick up is not always enough, so the National Trust has been forced to get tough with irresponsible visitors at Cogden, a popular spot with local dog walkers. “Working with the West Dorset District Council Dog Warden, we have been able to secure a fixed penalty notice for dog fouling”, said Ranger Rowan Thompson. “Hopefully this will help to get the message across that picking up the poo is important and it’s never ok to leave it.”