Residents in Talybont near Bangor have decided to confront an issue of real concern with a poster campaign. People living in the village decided that they’d had enough of an irresponsible minority of dog owners who neglect to clean up after their dogs in public areas, and so they decided to tackle the issue themselves.
This awareness-raising campaign has been running in other communities in Gwynedd recently, with a number of councillors spearheading the campaigns locally. Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Arllechwedd, was also keen to respond to local residents in Talybont and teamed up with Julian Johnson who also helps voluntarily keep the community clean and tidy.
Councillor Meurig and Mr Johnson then contacted Jonathan Neale, Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns officer, who met them in the village and discussed the various options. The red, eye-catching “IN THE BIN!” posters were chosen as a way of delivering the message effectively and directly to those responsible. With the support of local residents these signs have now been placed at problem locations in the community.
Councillor Dafydd Meurig, who represents Talybont on Gwynedd Council, said: “There are not many things more unpleasant than returning home or to your car after a walk and realising you've stepped in dog poo. But dog mess in our communities isn’t just unsightly, it’s hazardous to health. This is especially concerning when it comes to our younger residents, who often play in areas affected by dog fouling. So the message is clear: Just put the poo in the bin!”
Local Talybont resident and dog owner, Paula Sapsford, said: “This really shouldn’t be an ongoing problem in our communities. Most dog owners have gardens and surely wouldn’t leave their dog’s mess in their own garden, so why leave it elsewhere? Our dog owning community is determined to help get to grips with this issue, and we are more than happy to communicate the message of responsible ownership to our fellow dog owners.”
Einir Young, Local resident and dog owner, said: “It’s astonishing that some dog owners are still unaware that not clearing up after your own dog is a crime. It’s a revolting habit and responsible owners are rightly annoyed that a few irresponsible people give us all a bad name. There are bins in the village and poo bags available free from the Council, what more can they ask for? I can’t disagree with the poster - there are no excuses.”
Councillor Catrin Wager, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Municipal, said: “I wholeheartedly support the Talybont residents in their campaign to rid their community of dog mess. This poster campaign has been very popular with councillors and residents and is a great way to remind those responsible that they will receive a £100 fine if they’re caught.”
Many dogs are infected with parasites which can be harmful to people, especially children. Toxocariasis is a disease caused when the eggs of toxicara worms are transferred from dogs to people through infected dog mess or soil. Infection can lead to illness and even blindness.
In Gwynedd it is a criminal offence to take a dog onto designated children’s play areas, school grounds, sports pitches and certain beaches (April-September) or to allow your dog to foul any public space. Offenders are liable to receive a £100 fixed penalty, with failure to pay potentially leading to a court summons and a fine of up to £1,000.
For more information regarding Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns scheme, contact the team on 01766 771 000 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tidy Towns initiative is funded by Welsh Government, with the aim of improving the quality of the local environment.
Pictures: 1. Councillor Dafydd Meuig (left) with Jonathan Neale, Cyngor Gwynedd (right); 2. Local Talybont Resident Paula Sapsford.