Neospora Canine found in Denbighshire
The parasite Neospora Canine has been found in Denbighshire, Wales. The National Farmers Union (NFU) have said that picking up dog mess was vital in stopping the spread of the parasite which can cause neurological problems in dogs and can lead to cattle aborting their calves before full term of pregnancy is seen. It is likely that infection began through infected silage from dog owners allowing their pets to foul on farmers land and not pick it up. Farmers in Denbighshire have had to cull part of their herds as once infected, a cow will always abort her young every year. There is no vaccine or cure for Neospora canine, vets just emphasise to dog owners the need to pick up their dog faeces, where ever they may be!
'Doodoo map' set up to 'poo shame' dog owners.
Amanda Carlin from Wimblington in Cambridgeshire has created a new tool to help her local council target people who are not picking up after their dogs.
The 'DooDoo watch map' website she has created is the perfect tool for frustrated local people to upload the location of left dog muck and the council can then facilitate the cleaning up of this waste.
The local council already has £75 fines for dog owners caught not cleaning up after their dogs but locals hope the map will lead to more people getting caught in the act.
Amanda describes the map as a "fun way of addressing a serious issue", and will provide the community the option of being able to walk their dogs and children in a clean safe environment.
Rhondda Cynon Taf gets tough on irresponsible dog owners
From the 1st October Rondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council along with their 'Sort **IT Out!' campaign have implemented much stricter rules for irresponsible dog owners.
These include dog owners needing too dispose of their dogs mess immediately and properly, dog owners must also always carry a means to pick up dogs mess (i.e. bags). Failure to meet these new rules could lead to an increased £100 fine from one of the increased number of enforcement officers.
Around 114 tonnes of dog mess is collected from the streets and bins of Rhondda Cynon Taf every year, while 1,000 bins for dog mess are located across the County Borough. Every year an additional 150 bins are installed in known hotspots across the County Borough.
Find out more at the RCT council website.
Boston council introduce fines for dog owners unable to provide a bag whilst out.
From the start of February, Boston county council has introduced a new strategy for targeting dog fouling; £100 fines for owners unable to provide proof of having a dog poo receptacle with them. The new order states "It will be an offence for any person in charge of a dog to fail to provide evidence of the means of a suitable receptacle to pick up dog faeces when requested to do so by an authorised officer". The new rules have been met with mixed responses from locals, some feeling that it is a good step towards stamping out fouling, others however feel that sometimes your faithful friend can catch you out and you just don't have enough bags with you. Only time will tell if it will have a positive effect.
For more information on the order please check out the council website.
FixMyStreet. A new way to clean up dog fouling.
FixMyStreet has been running since 2007, and is a fast easy way to report unsightly issues (like dog fouling) anywhere you come across it. Wherever you are in the UK you can simply either log onto the website www.fixmystreet.com or download the app and report anything from dog fouling to graffiti. Once on the site just enter the address or postcode for the issue, add a short description or a photo and submit. From here your report is sent off to the council responsible for the area and they then contact you to update you on the status of your report.
At the time of posting the FixMyStreet website has received 3,430 reports in the last week and has led to the fixing of 6,591 issues within the last month.
The website has proven very popular with people who feel its given them a voice in their community, and also with local councils as it limits repeated complaints and the man hours needed for taking phone calls and answering emails. In fact it has proven so popular that many councils are now using it as their primary incident reporting tool.
May the Ticks be with You?
Ticks are on the rise and are an emerging risk to our pets; they are second only to mosquitoes in terms of their public health implications (1). Several species are native in the UK and they are widespread. Ticks are external, opportunistic parasites that feed on the blood of mammals such as dogs, deer and humans; whilst doing so they spread diseases to us and our pets.
One of the members of a Cardiff community group was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. This disease is transmitted by an infected tick bite; Public Health England estimates that the number of new Lyme disease cases is approximately 3000 every year (2). In dogs, Lyme disease can cause lameness, fever anorexia, lethargy and kidney failure; in humans Lyme disease may cause a rash and flu-like symptoms and in some cases can produce problems with joints, heart and the nervous system (1).
Another vector-born pathogen causes Babesiosis, a life-threatening disease, which has been brought into the UK news recently because of reports in four dogs from Essex (3). The tick, Dermacentor reticulatus, which carries the pathogen Babesia canis is a growing concern now for animal health. ESCCAP UK & Ireland offer the following advise with regards to ticks and their associated diseases (4):
Cover up yourself when in contact with grass or undergrowth.
Consider the use of pyrethroid impregnated clothing.
Check for ticks at least every 24 hours and remove any carefully with a tick hook with a “twist and pull” action.
Do not apply paraffin to ticks, or attempt to crush or burn them, before removal as this will increase the likelihood of disease transmission.
Check pets at least every 24 hours and remove ticks as above.
In the UK, a product that rapidly kills ticks or repels them should be considered for dogs whose lifestyle put them at high risk of tick exposure.
Some local community groups are warning the public about ticks as shown in the
photograph below spotted by ESCCAP vet, Ian Wright.
(1) The Bick Tick Project (http://www.mypetonline.co.uk/big-tick-project) [accessed 18 May 2016]
(2) Smith, F. D., Ballantyne, R., Morgan, E. R. and Wall, R. (2012) Estimating Lyme disease risk using pet dogs as sentinels. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 25(2): 163-167 doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2011.12.009
(3) Wright I, Stokes L, McGarry J, Morgan E , Elsheikha H, De Waal T, Cable J and Abbott EM (2016) Vectorborne diseases: Addressing vectorborne diseases. Veterinary Record 178:455-456 doi: 10.1136/vr.i2428
(4) ESCCAP UK & Ireland (http://www.esccapuk.org.uk/professionals.php?run=0) [accessed 18 May 2016]
BARC Public Engagement
On Monday 29th February the BARC team held a stall in the Sir Martin Evans building at Cardiff University in order to raise awareness about the project. By talking to people about the negative effects of dog fouling and the parasites associated with it, we were able to explain to them about how not cleaning up after their pets can put themselves, their pets and their environment, at serious risk. We were successfully able to recruit more volunteers to join the team and gathered a list of “soil pledges” in order to fill in the gaps in our interactive map.
Spray-Painting Dog Mess
Iris Walker of Aberdeenshire Council came up with this latest anti-dog fouling campaign initiative to spray paint dog poo that has been left behind in bright colours. This is in order to stop pedestrians stepping in the mess and to raise awareness of the dog-fouling problem. This simple idea that could easily be carried out by residents, is a way to shame the people who are selfishly not picking up their dog’s poo. The idea arose after receiving countless complaints about the dog-fouling problem and after seeing how mountain rangers were using this same technique to help hillwalkers avoid dog poo. This highlights just how much dog mess is being left behind. Iris said that it is “not an anti-dog campaign – it’s a campaign against anti-social behaviour. The most vocal residents are dog owners themselves”.
Testing for DNA in Dog Poo
Will this be the long-term initiative to reduce the UK dog-fouling problem? In Barking and Dagenham, Park Rangers will take samples from dog poo that owners have carelessly not picked up; these will be genotyped and the results compared to a DNA database of registered dog owners. Although it is currently voluntary for owners to register their dogs, by April 2016 it will be law to do so, at least in England. The aim of this innovative idea is to enable the councils to get tough on the inconsiderate dog owners, without having to catch them ‘brown handed’, whilst hoping to improve the cleanliness of the environment and to reduce the risks associated with dog fouling.
Penarth's Poo Tracking Website
BARC IN THE PARK: New Survey
A new interactive map that has been launched to allow people to pinpoint where they have found pavement poo is hugely popular amongst the people of Penarth, South Wales (population in excess of 20,000 people). Poonarth was set up by Alex Sharifi with the intention off encouraging dog owners to pick up their four-legged friend’s poo. The site also shows whether the dog foul has been stepped in and gives an estimation of how long it has been there. Currently (18/01/16) there are 105 dog poos reported; this could have created a small fortune (£105,000!) for the council in fixed penalties. Alex is hoping to create a robust dataset in order to work with the council and try to find a solution.
Have you seen a poo in Penarth? Report it here.
BARC has launched a new national survey!
To find out more or take part in the survey visit our
'BARC in the Park' page
To date, BARC has analysed soil from 236 sites across the UK, with similar levels of positive Toxocara spp. sites across England (40.4%) and Wales (50%) (Chi square test= 1.0128, df = 1, p = 0.3142).