District problem: Dog fouling

As all other cities, London has to continuously fight the rubbish.

The problem doesn’t only affects the one produced by the man: paper, food remains, plastic, glass, for example, but also the organic remains of our friend animal.

Our neglect can easily pollute the cleanest street. So, the Westminster Warden, Mr Thomas Walsh, a week ago ordered to be posted announcements into the Maida Hill district, near Shirland Mews and Shirland Road, about the problem.

The zone seemed to be the most dangerous into the Maida Vale district, so the warning noticed people about the terrible consequences their faults can have. “ Your negligence can lead to the spread of illnesses such as “Toxocara canis”, that brings Epilepsy and Blindness especially to young children.” warned the advise posted on every near street lamps.

Initially residents were sceptic about the operation results: “I don’t think they will change their habits, because if people are uneducated, a simple sheet of paper on a wall won’t make them think about it. They have to realize it by themselves” told John Sprane, a 45-year-old resident in Shirland Mews, after a pair of day from the campaign start.

There are more than 7.2 millions of dogs in London, standing to the National Pet month statistics (http://nationalpetmonth.org.uk/), a number that is increasing every second, that’s why the dog fouling can become a real big environmental problems if not controlled regularly by each city district.

The Westminster administration has started its battle against the problem. They tried to create a better channel of vigilance through its site, in which is present a specific section (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/WhereYouLive/Streetcleaninglitterandillegaldumping/DG_10025986) to support the dog owner in obtaining a good behaviour toward the city street. It is also possible online to report in real time a dog fouling problem found in a nearby street.

All the British regulations about dogs have been established into the Dog acts of 1996 that recites: “if your dogs fouls in public place, you must clean your mess”. Fines for negligent dog owners are quite well high: “£50 on-the-spot fine. If owner refuses to pay the fine, they can be prosecuted and may face a court appearance with a maximum penalty of £1,000. Registered blind dog owners are exempt from penalties,” recites the website.

The situation around the Shirland Mews’ and Street’s area seemed returned to normality after a week from the Warden warnings: the streets aren’t no more containers for animal organic remaining, people walks around with their animal friends and clean their fouling after they have finished. The only hope of the residents is that the problem won’t appear again after a month from these first results.

The Warden confirmed that the operation was positive and that the official communication are really a good tool to fight citizens’ neglect towards the rubbish. “The fear to be found leaving dog fouling into a street by a civil officer it’s something they can’t manage, so let them know we are monitoring especially their own area is a good deterrent,” he confirmed.




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