Dog Fouling - Health Risks

Under new litter laws [Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997] it is an offence to allow a dog under your control to foul a public place.  This means that the owner/person walking the dog is required by law to remove dog faeces and dispose of it in a suitable sanitary manner.

The main purpose of the law requiring dog owners to pick up after their pets is because dog faeces are unhygienic and pose a significant health hazard especially to children.  One of the most serious risks is of contracting Toxocariasis from accidental ingestion of the mature eggs of the parasite Toxocara Canis which is commonly known as roundworm.

The parasite’s main host is the dog and its eggs are found in dog faeces.  The eggs of Toxocara can remain viable for up to two years.  If the faeces are left on footpaths, grass verges, parks and playgrounds they can be picked up on children’s shoes, pushchairs, bicycles and wheelchairs.

What Should You Do

Do not let your dog roam the streets

Always carry a poop scoop or plastic bag Scoop the poop every time your dog fouls Dispose of poop scoop/bag in a sanitary manner in waste bin or take home and dispose of in household refuse.

Prevention of Toxocariasis

The disease can be controlled if dog faeces are disposed of immediately in a responsible manner.

Regular worming of dogs can help to reduce the problem.  Dog owners are advised to check with their vet for advice on worming their dog.

Always wash hands after handling animals or soil and before touching food.