Walking the dog has become one of the few opportunities to get outside for some fresh air during lockdown, but it has come at a stinking, germ-ridden cost..
A Llanelli rubbish collection company says that dog poo litter is up 200%, a clear indicator that not all dog owners are cleaning up after their pups. Just as bad are those who bag the poo, and then dump the bag in the street or up a tree.
Divert.co.uk who provide dog poo litter removal for councils and private landowners are alarmed by this increase and the implications this could have for public health and are calling on irresponsible owners to pick up after their dogs.
“It is disgusting to see that some dog owners are failing to pick up after their pets, when it’s an offence and the waste can lead to serious illnesses,” says Divert.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall.
“There is more poo than people on the streets of Llanelli right now.”
With Lockdown Three in full-swing, current England guidelines allow for people to walk their dog alone, with their households or support bubbles, or while exercising with one person from another household.
Hall: “Walking your dog is important for both pet and owner for exercise, especially while we are all house-bound during the lockdown.
“Unfortunately, thanks to the thoughtless behaviour by a few individuals, dog owners are once again getting a bad reputation due to a massive increase in dog mess on the streets.”
Divert.co.uk believe that due to fewer people being out and about, irresponsible dog owners believe they are less likely to get caught, so are more like to leave the poo and run.
Thankfully, not all dog owners will leave poo on the pavement, as waste campaigners Keep Britain Tidy, who have run high profile campaigns such as the ‘dog poo fairy’, have found that 9 out of 10 dog owners do regularly clean up after their dog.
The 10% who do not clean up after their dog could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100 for failing to pick up their dog’s waste, which could go up to £1,000 if the issue goes to court.
“There really is no excuse for this behaviour, especially as the waste can be put into any public bin,” says Hall.
“It’s lockdown laziness, especially those guys who bag the mess, then don’t bin the bag. Get a grip!”
Poo pollution that can make you poorly
Not only is dog poo on the streets unsightly, but it could also be hazardous for you and your family’s health.
In extreme circumstances, contact with dog poo can cause toxocariasis, an infection which can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma, and in worse case scenarios, blindness, or seizures.
And even more unfortunately, it’s often children who are the poor victims of falling into dog poo and putting themselves at risk of catching a nasty infection.
One girl, aged 5, was traumatised and physically sick after falling face-first into dog poo at a Halifax park, which was poorly disguised under a pile of leaves.
Emelia was walking home from school when she fell, and her mum is now calling for dog owners in the area to be more responsible, especially on busy routes around the school where children are more likely to fall into it.
Likewise, an 18-month-old ended up with a ‘face full of’ dog poo while out on a daily walk with his mother in a pack in Ascot, and just after the first national lockdown, one Scottish family had a close call as their 11-month-old picked up and ate dog poo in a local picnic area.
Hall: “We understand, it’s cold and we’ve had some snow recently, but thinking it’s quiet enough to get away with leaving it is no excuse not to pick up after your dog.
“The snow will eventually melt away, but your dog’s frozen turd will still be there for some poor bugger to step in.”
Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash
Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.
She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:
“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.
“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment.
“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river.
“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.
“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.
“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.
“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.
“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”
The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago.
Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.
UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery
LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.
Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.
They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:
• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures
Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:
“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”
“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”
Lee Waters MS said:
“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”
“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”
Search for Susan Smith continues
THE search for missing Susan Smith is now in it’s third day. She was last seen on Saturday (Feb 27), walking in the Kidwelly area.
Speaking to The Herald, a police spokesperson said: “We are continuing to search for Susan Smith who has been reported missing.”
“The search is continuing today with specialist police officers making house to house enquiries in the Kidwelly, St Ishamels, Ferryside and surrounding areas.
Sergeant Fiona Phillips said: “It is important that we build a picture of Susan’s movements after she was last seen on Saturday and I would appeal to anyone who believes they may have seen her to contact police.”
Susan was last seen 1.30pm Saturday, February 27 2021, walking in the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Village, Kidwelly area. She is known to walk along the beach to St Ishmaels and Ferryside.
She is described as approximately 5ft2 inches tall, petite with shoulder length blonde hair and believed to be wearing black jeans, a black fleece type jacket and navy and grey walking boots.
Any who has seen Susan or anyone who may have information that could help the search is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police, quoting reference 285 of Saturday 27th February.
Police can be contacted either online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908
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