June 3, 2016
Dog fouling controls in Burnham to be debated at public meeting

A public meeting is set to be held on Tuesday (June 7th) to discuss how to tackle the problem of dog waste being left on Burnham-On-Sea's beaches.

The meeting will be hosted by Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset (LFCS Somerset), a local campaign working to improve bathing water quality and reduce marine and beach litter in Burnham. It follow Burnham's sea water being deemed "poor" by new EU bathing water standards.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th June at 7pm in the meeting room at The Reed's Arms pub on The Esplanade.

Harriet Yates-Smith, Burnham’s Coastal Officer and co-ordinator of Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset, pictured right with Burnham sea water campaigner Ken Smout,
said: "Residents tell us dog mess is one of the most unacceptable and offensive types of litter on our streets and beaches."

"In our recent survey 61% of the community told us dog fouling was one of their top three issues to be tackled in order to improve bathing water quality at Burnham-on-Sea and keep its beaches clean."

The meeting therefpre aims to bring together dog owners, coastal users, vets and a variety of organisations to take action on dog fouling and discuss ideas on how to reduce it on Burnham-On-Sea and surrounding areas.

Harriet told "We’re holding this meeting because we need the expertise of the community. They are the ones who walk their dogs on the beaches and roads every day and know what the problems are so this meeting is an opportunity to hear their ideas about how they can help reduce it. As well as being unpleasant to come across, dog waste can contain high levels of bacteria (much higher than treated human waste), which can affect bathing water quality. It’s important we do what we can to make sure it doesn’t find its way into our ocean."

"As well as picking up your dog’s mess there are other ways to help improve bathing water quality. Such as making sure you only flush pee, poo and paper go down the toilet and never put fats, oils and greases down the kitchen sink."

"These small actions can help to reduce blockages and help prevent sewage from finding its way into rivers and streams during periods of very heavy rain."

Dr Ann Parry from Bridge Vets in Highbridge, who is supporting the campaign, will be there to help raise awareness about the health hazards of not picking up dog poo.

"Dog faeces not only contains bacteria, but there is also the potential that it could contain Toxocara, a parasite that can cause illness in humans. There will also be a short presentation from successful, Dorset-based community group “Pooo Pin” (Poo Out, People In) who formed to tackle dog fouling on their local beach and are keen to support Burnham’s community to achieve similar success."

Wetherspoons will be providing free tea and coffee will be available. Those attending are being asked to leave their dogs at home as dogs aren’t allowed in the pub.


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