Baldock boy, eight, in petition over dog mess
AN eight-year-old boy fed up with getting dog mess on his shoes and clothes when he plays football has started a petition to have dogs banned from public playing fields.
Liam Boss, who lives on Baldock’s High Street, is hoping his online petition will lead to the issue being debated in the House of Commons.
He has also written to Oliver Heald, MP for North Herts, who has promised to take the matter up with North Herts District Council (NHDC).
Liam says dog mess is a persistent problem on Bakers Field off Clothall Road in Baldock, and that the Government should ban dogs from public playing fields if their owners cannot be trusted to pick up their mess.
“Me and my dad have stopped playing football and I’m not getting exercise because of that,” he explained.
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“It got to the point where my dad just threw my shoes away.
“It would be ok if dog owners picked it up.
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“My dad asked one woman to pick it up and she just said no, which is rude.”
Liam’s dad, Ivars, said his son’s petition is aimed at drawing attention to the problem.
“There’s so much dog mess around,” he said. “It’s really quite a nuisance.
“We used to go and play football with Liam’s friends. After a while, you’d look at their clothes and then you’d all have to go home.
“Liam wanted to get his field sorted out, where he and his friends play, but he’s now started a national petition.
“He’s got strong opinions about quite a lot of things, and said he wanted to do something about this.”
Under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, it is an offence not to clear up after your dog if it fouls a public place. The fine can be up to �1,000.
Dog mess can cause illness. One disease, Toxocariasis, can cause blindness, especially in children.
Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “A minority of dog owners are spoiling things for everyone else and we urge them to behave responsibly and pick up their dog mess - there really is no excuse not to.
“We have 376 dog bins located across the district and, if there isn’t one nearby, dog owners can always dispose of their dog’s mess in litter bins, or failing that take it home with them.
“Let’s help keep our parks and open spaces attractive places to visit for everyone.”
To sign Liam’s petition, visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/17883