Saturday, 10 July 2010

A load of poo

A little while ago someone approached us asking for help getting their new organisation some celebrity endorsements. They weren't asking what we thought of what they were up to, it obviously never crossed their minds that we might not approve.
They claimed to be a new organisation for responsible dog owners.
Well we all think we're responsible, so theoretically we'd all join.
They were against dog poo not being picked up, again - no one is for not-picking-up-dog-poo are they?
And it was against people being bitten by dogs.
Again who could disagree?
Do we really need another organisation telling people that dogs make dangerous poo that makes people ill and that more and more dogs are biting people?
How exactly is that helping?
And why go for celeb endorsements?
Why not scientific?
And it looked to me to be churning out the same old, same old propaganda about dog poo being terrifyingly dangerous.
For me it's bad enough that it's smelly and gets stuck to your shoes.
The fact is, if you set out to catch Toxocariasis from your dog you'd really struggle.
First of all your dog would need to be shedding eggs. Main culprits being pregnant wormy bitches or new wormy pups.
Then the dog would have to poo on the exactly the right surface for the eggs to survive. The poo would have to be in those perfect conditions for about 14 days. Too hot and they'd die, too cold and they'd not develop. Much longer and they'd not be ripe.
Then you'd need to eat it.
It's stinky smelly stuff that you don't want to step on. It's not exactly inviting, there's no Alice in Wonderland sign saying "eat me" on every wormy turd!
Are you really going to eat it?
Okay some little kids in experimental mode might just the once and that shouldn't ever happen, but I've never let my kid crawl about in poo. Have you? I was very fussy about where my kids crawled and what they put in their mouths.
However, some animals are less proud of their poo than dogs and tend to hide it in the soil or in sand pits and I kind of get the fact that you might get some under your nails, but that's why everyone should wash their hands!
Even if every dog wore a nappy and was wormed once a week - would we never see a case of Toxocariasis ever again?
Toxocariasis can be caught via fox poo or cat poo, although you won't find anyone trying to start a responsible cat and fox society will you?
Many more pet cats use the outside toilet than pet dogs. Foxes have no choice.
How many cats and foxes are regularly wormed? How many have their outside poos bagged by humans?
I'm afraid the poo section of this organisation put me right off and I stopped reading.
We all hate poo, it's stinky.
Leave off the scare stories.
Toxoplasmosis actually kills babies, so why not start a campaign about that if you want to cause a sensation. Educate people about cooking meat properly on the barbeque, not handling cat litter trays when you're pregnant.
Starts with the same letters as the Toxocara word too and enough stupid journalists have confused the statistics about the two conditions in the past!
I dimly remember from my history lessons that dictators used to get the public onside by picking on something that everyone hated - like pigeons. It unites people in a common dislike. Just because we don't like poo it's no reason to join up and go to war.


Gillian said...

Beverley..I couldn't agree more. I hate the whole, and getting very old now, scaremongering about poo!! I was watching something about Mounted Police in Manchester about a month ago, and they were asked by a group of people that if they have to pick up after their dogs, why shouldn't they pick up after their horses, she replied that dog poo is dangerous, because it give people cateracts!!! You's really hope someone who is listened to in such a public job could not spout such rubbish!!

Alison at muksak said...

Broadly agree with the points made, and can't see that we need another organisation to remind dog owners to be responsible. It is true that dog fouling seems to be on the increase in some areas. Still, there is plenty of info out now, and another body is unlikely to cause those who don't bother now to change their behaviour, and there will always be those who believe in the dog poo bag fairy who picks them up after you.

I don't think that there is much evidence in the UK nowadays of human health problems caused by dog poo, but I would highlight one health hazard that still comes from this, but that's to other animals. Not everyone worms there dogs thoroughly, and they're not 100% all the time. Where popular dog walking routes go through fields with stock such as cows and sheep, problems still arise, so perhaps we could just be more aware of that.

Still doesn't justify another organisation, celebrity endorsed or not