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Council’s New ‘DON’T GIVE DOGS A BAD NAME’ Campaign Warns of Health Effects of Dog Foul

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Last week the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan and Council’s Dog Wardens launched ‘Don’t Give Dogs a Bad name, bag it and bin it’ anti-dog foul campaign.

Failure to clean up after your dog can result in humans, particularly children, becoming infected by a dog parasite that can cause blindness. The parasite is a worm called ‘Toxocara canis’ that passes its eggs in the dogs’ stool.

Toxocara is a roundworm. All dogs can be troubled with worms, especially as young pups. The worm lives in the dog’s intestine and its eggs are passed in the dog’s stools. Toxocariasis is the infection which humans can pick up as a result of coming into contact with the eggs contained in the dog’s stools.

Although usually a mild infection in humans, Toxocariasis can have potentially serious health effects such as blindness. This is rare BUT it can and does happen. If dog foul is ingested (i.e. taken into the mouth and swallowed), the infection can be caught. This could happen if a person handles soil, sand or any other material that is contaminated with dog stools and subsequently has direct contact with the mouth before hand-washing. Public parks, gardens and play areas are likely sites for contamination with dog stools.

The Mayor commented, “In order to prevent this potential health threat, dog owners must not allow their dogs stools to remain in public places – please remove and dispose of it in any Council bin.  All it takes is bringing a bag with you to clean up after your dog, for example, a scented child’s nappy bag, plastic bag or even a ‘poop scoop’.

“I ask that all residents of the Borough support this campaign by respecting dog-free areas and cleaning up after their dog. Parents, in particular, should be aware of the potential risk associated with family pets. Dogs should be wormed regularly and you should ensure you clean up all dog stools whether inside or outside the home, especially public areas such as foot paths and open spaces.

“It should also be noted that keeping children’s sand pits and sand boxes covered when not in use prevents any potential dog foul going unnoticed. It is important to be vigilant as the possible infection for the ingestion of dog foul can be very harmful.

“Remember Any Bag, Any Bin!”

In efforts to prevent dog fouling incidents, Council’s Dog Wardens have identified heavily fouled local streets and areas for additional patrols. They are North Road and Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney; North Street (Glass Island Area) and Atlantic Avenue, Ballycastle; Station Road, Dungiven; Scroggy Road, Limavady; Girona Avenue, Portrush; and Mountsandel Road, Coleraine.

Signage is erected to identify areas targeted to make the public more aware. Incidents of dog fouling in these areas was recorded last week; this will continue until 9th May 2016. Dog walkers are invited to support Council by being responsible and picking up dog foul to prevent littering the Borough.

To report dog fouling please can you provide the following information: the address where the dog lives, the date, time and street name when contacting Council’s Environmental Services Department on 028 7034 7171 or email [email protected]

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