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Should dogs be banned from parks?

10:33 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Dogs have been banned at 72 park sites in a Nottinghamshire district after some owners failed to clean up after their pets. Should dogs be allowed in parks?

Dog owners say the measures, which have been brought in by Newark and Sherwood District Council, are unfair on people who do clean up dog waste.

Councillor Nora Armstrong said: "These powers, which also help us to control where dogs are taken and how many, should help us make sure more people enjoy a cleaner, greener and safer environment."

West Somerset Council has also banned dogs from 20 places including parks, play areas and sea fronts. And many other areas of the UK have banned dogs from certain areas at certain times.

Should dogs be banned from other public places? Or should dog walkers be restricted to certain areas? Are you a dog owner? What do you think of this ban? Where will you walk your dog?

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  • Comment number 1.

    Although I am not a dog owner - dogs can be terrifying - which I think dog owners just don't get - their famous phrase is 'It won't touch you' aye right - it won't touch them maybe. They leave a terrible mess everywhere they go and you can't walk on grass in case you step in something nasty. Dogs are ok at a distance, no harm to them just keep your pets to yourselves and for finding dead bodies while out dog walking! Nice to keep the parks for the kids and old folk to enjoy without the threat of a dog jumping up on you or worse!

  • Comment number 2.

    Should dogs be banned from parks?

    Harry H Corbett

    Is there a department that just sits around all day thinking of things to ban?

    I'm more of a cat person, but even i recognise that parks, as well as being for children, famillies and the occasional tramp, are specifically areas that people can exercise their dogs in. Good for the dog, good for the owner.

    Nottingham council - Nasty, power crazed, imbecilic, dictatorial bunch of oxygen theives - purely in my opinion of course.

  • Comment number 3.

    This makes me so angry. I go to great trouble to clean up after my dog and there is always a doggie bag attached to her lead in case of accidents. I have seen people drive up to parks, open their boot, let their dogs run out and foul on the grass before putting them back in the car and driving away, leaving steaming messes behind for people to step in. Our own village playing field has this problem - dogs now have to be on leads because of this even though it is not the people of the village who are causing a problem.

    Surely this highlights a need for more rigorous rules about dog ownership? These days dogs are seen as accessories, luxuries, toys. They aren’t. They are living creatures with needs, who make messes and have to be cleaned up after, just like a small child. They are well worth the effort, for the loyalty and companionship you receive in return, but far too many people by a puppy with no concept of the commitment that is required to raise it. It’s laziness plain and simple, and it shouldn’t be allowed, but banning dogs from parks just punishes responsible owners and dogs themselves. Fines for fouling need to be enforced more thoroughly and culprits should be prosecuted.

  • Comment number 4.

    Another ridiculous idea. While we're about it, lets's ban kids with footballs, bikes and skateboards. And no-one should be allowed to chew gum, picnic or bring cans and bottles into parks or on the beach for fear of litter. Not sure how these bans might be enforced though! Perhaps the answer is to just do away with all open spaces and build on them. i wonder if this was a problem on communal land back in the Middle Ages! After all, think of the mess sheep, goats and cattle would have made!

  • Comment number 5.

    Why not ban anyone from 14 to 18 years of age? This age group causes more damage in all parks than dogs do by fouling!

    Who owns the parks, quite frequently they have been given to the people of the town, by benefactors, ie, owther Gardens in Lytham St Annes. Ryelands Park in Lancaster etc.

    The are cared for by the council on behalf of the people of the town, once again its a case of jobsworths trying to find things to do to justify their petty existance.

  • Comment number 6.

    What's the point in the park then? For the one family in the country that still has an annual picnic?

    I'd ignore the council's rules. Councillors will stop trying to be mini-dictators after they realise they have no power.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am a dog owner. I am appalled at the number of owners who allow their dogs to foul pavements and parks, then do not remove the mess. It is a disgrace and my local parks are littered with dog foul. The Police are not interested in enforcing anti-fouling laws, neither are the Local Council. We ALWAYS clear after our dog, which is simple as there are many dog-foul bins. I just can't understand the apathy of other owners. This is a sad reflection of modern generations, where lack of respect for your surroundings has been allowed to permeate into everything we do. A disgrace.
    As a dog owner I would support a prolonged ban, even though it would seriously affect our habits.

  • Comment number 8.

    After seeing that every single comment has been moderated i'm not sure if there is much point in posting!

    I'll give it a try.

    Surely one of the main purposes of parks is to provide a place for people to walk there dogs? Am i missing somthing here?

    If dogs fouling is a problem, well there are laws already in place and dog mess bins available.

    So, why don't some community support officers get put on watch in problem areas at problem times? They can apprehend any violaters who can then be dealt with.

    Or CCTV?

  • Comment number 9.

    This has been going on for a while and has made me very anti-nanny state. I guess us dog walkers with our harmful and apparently ungreen ways will be joining the rest of societies outcasts of smokers, drinkers, car drivers and hunters. However I do agree that all owners should clear up after their dog and be sensible about when to put them on a lead, which in most cases owners are. If such a ban comes into place then I hope we can get a refund on the tax we pay for the upkeep of these parks, as I'm certain my two hounds will never let me leave the house without a lead in my hand..

  • Comment number 10.

    No! like every other daft interpretation of 'human rights' this takes things too far. What gives humans preferential rights over animals?
    Dogs do what every other living creature on the face of this earth does. Strangely enough, it is humans who have the least respect for the environment. I've never seen the dog that drank too much alcohol then threw it up all over the pavement bus or taxi along with a late fish-supper. Nor have I seen a dog chuck a dog-end (ha ha) on the pavement - nor a sweetie paper, crisp packet! If Councils want to do a good 'job', let them compare the costs of cleaning up after humans to that of cleaning up after dogs!

    Now I wonder what would cost the local taxpayer the most?

  • Comment number 11.

    well its like everything else isn't it, the minority spoil it for the majority.

    As a dog lover but not an owner i do find it strange that people let their dogs run free in public places, my 6 year old gets frightened when some large hound comes bounding towards her , and i'm ready to kick it in the head if it shows any sign of turning nasty.

    Not to mention the fighting dogs that teenagers seem to like to own these days.

  • Comment number 12.

    In order to be well balanced dogs need some time to run off lead. If this requires going out of the area then many dogs will not recieve this basic requirement to their well being. Which then raises the issue of if the RSPCA will prosecute the owner for not providing the animals basis needs? Not everyone has access to a car to drive to another area to excercise their dog.

    Whilst I would never condone not cleaning up after your dog I think a ban is a total over reaction. There are already laws that say you should not allow your dog to foul and that you should be in control of your dog in a public place. Use those.

  • Comment number 13.

    Dogs should not be banned from parks - Dog owners should be banned from parks if they do not pick up the dogs poo afterwards - the dogs are ok! just the owners to sort out.

    Maybe have a 'dog friendly' area like they do in the USA, complete with poo pits and bags dispensers and poo bins (a lack of bags means that the poo will not get picked up and many people simply forget to bring one - and a dispenser means theres no excuse)-have it staffed like a public loo and have a small charge for entry?
    Theres lots of solutions which could bring in some money for councils, instead of penalising and criminalising ordinary people who forgot to bring a bag to the park.
    The bottom line is that the dog poo is dangerous if infected with worms - it can cause blindness in children if they transfer it to their eyes somehow, SO we must do something, but think before acting please, or will you employ someone to do a 'poo patrol' to catch the culprits - why not be more creative instead of simply banning dogs from parks.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sorry BBC but this is pitiful.

    Why open a new topic asking for comments when you blatantly don't have the resources to publish them in a timely manner?

  • Comment number 15.

    Sounds like this district council is a member of the loony left brigade doesn't it? Well they aren't. They are members of the loony right brigade, otherwise known as the modern Conservative party.

  • Comment number 16.

    At our local rec we have the rugby pitch with a fence all the way around to stop animals getting inside. I have been down there a number of times recently and seen people lift the dog over the fence so that it can run around on the pitch but can't get out while they play with the kids in the play area. Ban all dogs from all rec's and parks and sporting pitches.

  • Comment number 17.

    Should councillors be banned for failing to collect rubbish from bins?

  • Comment number 18.

    Dogs can cause a nuisance. Most times their owners seem oblivious to how others feel and carry on allowing the nuisance to continue.
    If a child wants to play with a ball they have to endure off the lead animals joining in whether they want them to or not.
    Dog fouling is another area that makes dog owners unpopular. I must admit that this is less of a problem than it used to be.
    Dog noise is my main bone of contention. Just because the owner likes the continual sound of their pet's voice that doesn't make it acceptable for everyone else.
    A pleasant few hours in our local park is often marred by dogs and their irresponsible owners.
    Recently I was witness to a very elderly couple as they settled on a park bench to eat their picnic lunch. Almost from nowhere a very large German Shepherd, off the lead, appeared and literally snatched the food from their laps. They were clearly very frightened and put up no resistance preferring to beat a retreat.
    The owner of said dog saw for herself what had happened but made no attempt to apologise or control her animal. Without a care in the world she stood, lead in hand, chatting to a fellow dog owner.
    On behalf of the old couple I remarked that her animal should clearly be on a lead and was told in no uncertain terms to mind my own business. Obviously her beloved pet was beyond reproach.
    Before I get hit with anti dog stick I have, in the past been a dog owner and am well aware of how attached you can become to one. This is, however, no excuse for allowing it to ruin the day for everyone else.
    The same sort of scenes are played out on beaches around the country unless of course a responsible council has banned them for the summer.

  • Comment number 19.

    I used to play rugby on the public pitches and the number of dog owners who :-
    a: let their dogs run through games being played or after the ball
    b: walked 'ahead' of their dogs without seeing them poop on these pitches

    ...were astounding. It got to the point where I challenged a dog owner who claimed he didn't see his dog poop therefore he would not clean it up even though he was chatting to a mate while facing the offending dog.

    It should be hammered home that owning a dog has certain responsibilities which is includes poop scooping. Until this is sorted then dogs should be banned from these areas otherwise i might be inclined to rub the onwers nose in their dogs mess if this continues.

    These owners should be also trained to throw the bagged mess into bins too. Bagging it and decorating a tree with it is also not responsible.

  • Comment number 20.

    If you live in an area of very little greenery, it is a pity that a dog is stopped from enjoying a bit of grass and a run about because of a few careless and ignorant owners.

    Could the council not monitor the parks and hand out hevfty fines to those bad dog owners?

  • Comment number 21.

    Rather ban yobs with their drink bottles,cans,plastic bags ,crisp packets,double whopper with tomato sauce wrappers and whatever other unwanted stuff they just leave on the ground as their is no street cred in putting it in waste baskets.

  • Comment number 22.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    In connection to the four legged variety, then surely those parks should employ park wardens and prosicute those owners not picking up the mess. I haven't heard of a ban on foxes, cats, birds, horses or any other animal that leave mess in the park.

    Also if this is the case then the council should also ban humans form parks, on the basis that some humans drop litter and vandelise the park.

    What utter rubbish, yet another case of local government reducing cost and reducing service at the same time. Get more people off benefits and get them working as park wardens and other service jobs. This would resolve both problems in one

  • Comment number 25.

    Dog mess would not be an issue if there was ever any expectation of being caught leaving it behind.

    As a dog owner myself I take a surplus of bags when I walk my dog and offer them to people I catch not picking up after their animals. There are those people though that only pick up when they know they can be seen. Those people carry one bag so they can make a good show of picking up when the necessity arises.

    What happened to park keepers? A park keeper would be a good disincentive to leaving dog mess around, no need to ban all dogs.

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree 100% with the banning order. Children play in parks and the filth left behind by dogs is disgusting.
    And for those who say they clean up after their do you clean up when a dog has a wee?
    There are all sorts of disgusting germs left behind by dogs and cats.

    Ban them, FULL STOP!

  • Comment number 27.

    Yesterday i was a legally abiding citizen of the UK. Today, due to this issue, i will become an outlaw. I am a dog owner and when stupid rules come into force with little or no consideration for the good citizens of this country then i will continue to do what i did yesterday. Thus making me an outlaw.

    What this country needs is a good government (not labout, cons, Lib dem) that is willing to make the difficult decisions and act upon those decisions. This means creating more social jobs like park wardens, toilet wardens, community wardens, and getting more people off their back sides and doing these jobs or stop paying them. This would then put this country back to the morals needed and stop all forms of anti social behavious (including dogs mess).

    It would not cost the country any more money to do this as their would be less repair costs to parks etc.

  • Comment number 28.

    If they are going to ban dogs in this manner, they should surely also ban the completely ignorant numptys that drop fast food litter, bottles, cans, fag ends etc etc. all of which are just as bad if not worse than dog mess. In one of the parks in my area we also get needles and used condoms!!

    BTW I am a dog owner and do clean up after my dog.

  • Comment number 29.

    I love dogs.
    I also love parks.
    As things stand there simply is no longer any alternative.
    The overused argument “A tiny minority are at fault and the majority of dog owners are law abiding….”) simply will no longer do.
    Parks are not meant to be canine toilets – turning the place into an unhygienic dump is not just unsightly but a real danger to children.
    Further one can no longer be certain if that dog, off the leash, is just being friendly or aggressive (owners fault again).
    Owners who do not control their dogs should be fined (NOT just ‘named & shamed’ nonsense) on the spot and the fines increased appropriately.
    In the absence of regular park patrols, sadly, this is the only way forward.

  • Comment number 30.

    It is a ridiculous suggestion to stop people taking their dogs to the park. I would rather have a park full of dogs than people dealing drugs and underage kids drinking alcohol! Fine the people who don't pick up after their dogs more harshly.

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm not a dog owner and dog "mess" isn't nice but even I recognise they need SOME place to go! So long as they are places dog owners CAN walk their pets it's fine. Better still if they can clean up afterwards.

    Just so long as there are dog free areas too. It's a balance realy.

  • Comment number 32.

    Typical small-minded local council jobsworths at work again, I see.

    A small number of people are being irresponsible. Shall we:

    a) target that small number (which will cost us because we have to pay for a dog/park warden)

    b) ban ALL dogs because we're lazy and will be able to make a few quid from fines.

    Hmm. Pretty obvious what the coincil will do isn't it, and where one goes, the rest usually follow.

    Dog owners, may as well put your dogs down now since before long you won't be allowed to take them out of your house.

  • Comment number 33.

    I am anticipating more rantings from the pro and anti dog groups, so can I add my middle-ground opinion?

    I recently took ownership of a very old dog who's owners had emigrated to Australia. This dog, not in the best of health, is quite docile and well behaved. But he does have problems associated with old age, particularly incontinence.

    I walk him morning and evenings and obtain special nappy sacks (cheap ones from the supermarket) to clean up his mess. I first found this unpleasant, but now view it as when I had to change my babies nappy (dont look to hard and breathe through the mouth).

    When I walk the dog I see a lot of other owners doing the same as I and clearing up after their pets. And yet there is one owner (of a very big dog judging by the size of it's 'deposits') who continously leaves mess outside of peoples houses. The problem is we never see anyone walking a dog that leaves an unclaimed 'present'. so how do you enforce them to do so?

    The problem for the councils is the old one of withdrawing services and expecting the public to be responsible and do the work themselves. Council used to employ park wardens who would amoungst other things clean up stray dog mess. These jobs have gone due to cost cutting and not all dog owners are stepping up to do the right thing and clean up after them.

    Could a solution be for the council to sell dog permits to pay for wardens who will ensure that all owners do the right thing? This of course would be unpopular so probably won't be done also some owners would stop going.

    So it's the usual council remedy for anything that cannot be done without them receiving criticsm, ban it and blame the minority, job done, problem solved.

  • Comment number 34.

    As a dog owner I agree they should be banned. The mess and fear is just too great.

  • Comment number 35.

    I know that all dog owners are not irresponsible but those that are are a menace. It's not just the mess in parks. Some streets are a minefield of dog poo! I even caught a neighbour, who was walking his dog past my garden, allowing the animal to foul my lawn! I now keep my garden gates closed, but I shouldn't have to. Perhaps if certain dog owners were more responsible about keeping their pets under control and clearing up after them then there wouldn't be any need for a ban. Just a thought!

  • Comment number 36.

    Agree completely. Dogs should be banned from streets as well.

  • Comment number 37.

    Why stop at dogs? Why not ban all non-human animals....! A perfectly sterile environment! Prats!

    Why cant these council drones get a life, instead of interferring in everyone elses!

  • Comment number 38.

    No, you can't ban them from parks! this will definately mean more dog mess on the pavements. One park near me has a fenced off dog walking area with dog mess bins, every park should have one, it's a great idea. A modest dog licence fee could pay for the provision of this land (don't see why those of us who can't afford to keep a dog should pay for it). It can really spoil your day when your kids get dog mess on themselves, and dog mess can contain dangerous parasites which can make children blind. The only other option is that dog owners who don't care about this should be more severely punished. At the moment, you can theoretically get a fine of up to £1000.00, but nobody is interested or there to enforce it, so why bother touting that as a solution? I'd like to see if anyone ever has been caught and punished for fouling, I doubt it.

  • Comment number 39.

    You are kidding. So the world revolves around humans. No go zones for dogs meaning that walkers wont take their dogs to these parks, so possibly not out at all. I hope this is is followed up swiftly with a fantastic plan for the pensioner with their only companion to reach a park allowing their dog.

    I believe dog owners must look after their dogs more and splitting a park in 2 restricting dogs to half the park is understandable but banning dogs is a bad idea

  • Comment number 40.

    Human dogs yes - those that throw litter everywhere, damage things, create excessive noise, can't talk without uttering obscenities so that everyone nearbye can hear. Canine dogs that are well trained have as much a right to freedom of space as anyone else.

  • Comment number 41.

    'Bans' generally are the lazy, quick and cheap alternative to enforcing the law by authorities that haven't got the will to do their job properly.

    Also "Councillor Nora Armstrong said: 'These powers, which also help us to control where dogs are taken and how many, should help us make sure more people enjoy a cleaner, greener and safer environment.'"

    Greener? What is un-green about an animal? Everything is bio-degradable. Smelly, toxic and unpleasant maybe, but not un-green.

  • Comment number 42.

    Yet again, the minority ruin it for the majority.

    Whilst not a dog owner myself, I know many who are and they are extremely responsible when it comes to cleaning up after their animals. Unfortunately, too many people in todays society are so busy caring about no-one but themselves and something as simple as clearing up dog mess is (in their opinion) beneath them. Yet again we have evidence of 'it's someone elses problem....'

    Parks are there to be enjoyed by everyone. What a pity not 'everyone' sees it that way and does their bit.

  • Comment number 43.


    If the general public using public parks can't raise a complaint to uncooperative dog owners, and if necessary - photograph offenders with mobile phones to report them to the local authority - then they obviously don't care enough about it. Or perhaps the local authority won't take action because they regard mobile phone pictures as an invasion of privacy, or they won't pay the wage for an enforcement officer. In any case: STOP BANNING THINGS YOU NANNY DICTATOR CONTROL FREAKS!!!

  • Comment number 44.

    I am a dog owner - and a responsible one too though I appreciate that some out there are not.
    If councils are to ban users with dogs from publicly owned and managed space, will they refund the council tax to those users that is spent on upkeep? I think not. Will they trap unaccompanied animals and "do something" with them? Again I think not. I am lucky to live in Milton Keynes where we have linear parks all over the city allowing people, dogs, cats, horses and the like free access for leisure. If dogs are banned because some don't clean up, then what about Horses? What about cat-owners - whose animals NEVER foul their own gardens? What about humans who foul with much more than urine and excrement? Where does this stop?
    For goodness' sake let us stop penalising the majority for the sins of the minority.

  • Comment number 45.

    " i wonder if this was a problem on communal land back in the Middle Ages! After all, think of the mess sheep, goats and cattle would have made!"

    First class manure, Alison, even today. Where I live, deep in the forest in Finland, we have a lot of elk and roe deer quite close to the house - you should see the size of our vegetables! Not sure about dogs, though. One answer may be to have Scandinavian style dog exercise areas in public parks. These are enclosed so that the dogs cannot get out, but can run about all they wish. Consequently, any mess tends to be confined to a dog specific area, and there are bins which owners can use to dispose of the mess their dogs make. It's not perfect, but it helps enormously.

  • Comment number 46.


  • Comment number 47.

    As a parent of a toddler, I think there needs to be more control of dogs in public areas. I realise that many owners are responsible with respect to cleaning up after their pets (thank you, by the way!), but where I live, sadly there are many who take no responsibility for their animals' behaviour or mess.

    We have two public commons less than two blocks from our home, and both are festooned with dog mess. A recent campaign had people putting little red flags in the ground next to every pile of dog poo they found on the common. The result looked like an air crash after the investigators have been in! Do you really think I'm happy to let my child run, crawl, lie down on the grass knowing that she will, at some point, end up coming into contact with dog faeces?

    Two years ago, a woman with a baby in a pram was attacked and severely mauled by some sort of 'pitbull'-type dog. Despite being followed by a thoughtful member of the public, and being caught on CCTV, the dog's idiot owner has never been caught and punished. For weeks afterwards, most parents in our neighbourhood were scared to let their children play on the common for fear that these dogs were still around.

    I have noticed that, in more wealthy areas of the country, childrens' playgrounds are fenced to prevent dogs running around in them, and people are more respectful of 'No dogs' signs. In our neighbourhood, there are three fenced playgrounds (one containing a kiddie pool), all of which clearly forbid dogs. Every time I am there, however, there is at least one yob with a status dog who, if you asked him to leave, would be more likely to sic the dog on you than do as he was asked.

    I'm sorry to have to spoil the party for all those people out there who manage their dogs properly in public, and who have trained them to be obedient and friendly. But honestly, something needs to be done.

  • Comment number 48.

    Look if you can ban smoking because of secondary smoke then you can ban dog excrement because of Toxoplasma gondii. Why should we put up with the risk of our children going blind? Whilst we are at it, lets have a total ban on cats as well which carry this parasite. Humans get infected when they eat eggs from soil. Eggs need to be in the environment approximately two weeks before becoming infective. Direct contact with an infected animal generally does not result in transmission so the owners are at less risk than you. Do not let children play in areas where dogs or cats may have defecated - like parks.

  • Comment number 49.

    I don't think dogs should be banned from public places, but they should be under control, on a lead, and owners should clear up any mess. Those that do adhere to the rules should be fined with confiscation of the dogs for repeat offenders.

    Dogs that not under control are frightening for some, and dog faeces as well as being unpleasant is a known public health risk.

  • Comment number 50.

    All dogs above a certain size must be muzzled.I live a lovely area of manchester and we have a green space in the front of my house that the locals use as a dog training/toilet area.we have some very large dogs running free where we have children playing (the dog wardens are useless)We have a really bad dog fouling problem where the children play on the grass.Unless we change the laws in britain we will see the rise of dog attacks.MUZZLE,CHIP,AND DOGS THAT ARE FOUND TO BE UNCHIPPED.To stop this "Fshion of dog ownership" looking cool they call it.numb nut owners.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is absolutely the right decision. Some parks are just not meant for dogs. They need open areas to run in. When they are let loose in a Country Park near to my home(there are signs saying they must be on a lead, but hey, who's watching), they have nowhere to go but crashing through the flowers and undergrowth and into the ponds disturbing wildlife and those trying to enjoy it. I'm afraid irresponsible (and aggressive)dog owners outweigh the decent, mindful ones.

  • Comment number 52.

    Lets ban everyone from the Parks! Then they will be perfect!

  • Comment number 53.

    I'd like to see horses banned from the roads, or at least for their riders to be required to clear up any mess that they leave.

  • Comment number 54.

    Once again we have the all to common solution to a problem which punishes everyone for the actions of a few. Here's an idea, how about actually punishing the perpetrators, say, with with heavy fines, or does this breach their human rights?

  • Comment number 55.

    Without a doubt, dogs should be banned from ALL public parks. I have some sympathy for the responsible dog owners, however it's the the irresponsible ones who have caused all the banning orders, so blame them and not the public without dogs.

  • Comment number 56.

    In some of the parks here in the U.S.A., there are plastic "pooper" bags at the entrances so that if a dog has to do its "business", the owner can simply put the left-overs in the bag and dump it in the trash can while exiting the park. It seems to work well.

    Just a suggestion.

  • Comment number 57.

    We are penalising the law-abiding instead of the miscreants, tell me, is this a matter of surprise?

  • Comment number 58.

    I would ban anyone displaying anti-social tendencies - dog-fouling (not cleared up), litter, graffiti, feral youths - from all parks. The council should employ park keepers to enforce these rules and ensure that the parks are secure at night to stop junkies shooting up and leaving their needles around to be picked up by a toddler the next day.

  • Comment number 59.

    Don't you see that this epidemic of prohibitionism will one day come to rest on your doorstep. Turkeys voting for Xmas.

    Theoretical freedoms and nothing do, nowhere to go but into the chamber.

  • Comment number 60.

    Alison wrote:
    i wonder if this was a problem on communal land back in the Middle Ages! After all, think of the mess sheep, goats and cattle would have made!

    It was certainly a problem when we took cattle to Australia. There was no means to dispose of cow-dung and by extrapolation it was determined that at some future date the whole country would be covered by cow-pats.

    The solution? Dung beetles, imported from Africa. They removed/recyled the cows waste.

    We have no means in this country, particularly in parks where the grass is cut very short, of dealing naturally and quickly with dog waste, other than for humans to collect and dispose. So if a minority do not do this, (and are not found and reported) the majority suffer.

  • Comment number 61.

    Dogs shouldn't be allowed in public parks. There are too many children around and as we all know, dogs can never be 100% trusted.

  • Comment number 62.

    There are a lot of people here are complaining about dogs due to a fear or intollorance. Seriously just grow up. If you dont like sharing the planet with other animal maybe you should sign up to be the next monkey sent up into space. I would love to see how you cope in a country where the animals are not regulated and most are wild. The BBC could put it as a reality TV show for us to all laugh at.

    As for the mess they make I agree something should be done but banning dogs is not the answer

  • Comment number 63.

    I don't really think dogs should be banned from parks, provided the owners take responsibility for their dogs. Unfortunately a minority fail to pick up the dog mess, and allow their dogs off the lead to frighten children and wildlife. There is nothing worse than playing football or some other games and ending up covering in dog mess because of a unthoughtful dog owner.
    There are in my experience a lot of stupid dog owners who think their dog is special and that any rules don't apply to them or their dogs. I live close to the Peak District, which is prime sheep country. At this time of the year there are signs everywhere asking people to keep their dogs on leads, but everytime I go walking at least 25% of the dogs are off their leads, despite the fact that there is livestock in the field.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Just took my dog for a walk in the park. He has a very sharp sense of smell and located several used sanitary towels,condoms, and disposable children's nappies; we avoided lots of broken bottles on the concrete paths but I had great difficulty keeping him away from the scattered chicken bones left over from a carnival for an ethnic group. We picked up his poo and took it home as the dog bins were overflowing with empty beer cans.
    I believe it is important to keep dogs under control in parks but on the above evidence we should consider a ban on women, lovers, babies, ethnic groups, and drinkers. Better still, just close the parks until someone sells them to the developers.

    Here is my advice to responsible dog owners.

    1. Tell other dog owners to go along to any dog training club and they will be taught the importance of responsible dog ownership.
    2. Recognise that dogs have enemies in councils and the public who are determined to ban them from beaches and parks however well behaved. So do what my friends and I have done: approach local farmers requesting to hire fields for the exclusive use of the dogs. They won't have to meet defra requirements for horses etc. Just a field. Offer a reasonable rent and assure the farmer that you will respect the property and environment, fences, gates etc.
    3. Then tell your local council candidates what you have done and why you won't support local authorities who fail to provide for a large percentage of the population.
    4. Get a car sticker, saying: I HAVE A DOG AND I HAVE A VOTE.

    Remember folks, canine company is beneficial for health and companionship. Don't knock it.

  • Comment number 66.

    I don't like treading in dog poo any more than the next person, and I have two dogs. Most of us are conscientious and clean up after our dogs and keep them under control. If only as many parents were so considerate with their offspring, who regularly walk past my garden and chuck their empty cans and crisp packets over the fence. Let's have more dog-poo bins, more dog wardens, and bring back the dog licence with a £100-fee, and maybe the anti-dog brigade will stop barking.

  • Comment number 67.

    Certainly not! Enough of banning everything. We cannot carry on banning the respectful majority because of minority of ignorant people. We always pick up our dogs' mess when taking them out. Maybe it is time to go back to a licence system so as to be able to revoke the licence from irresponsible dog owners and leave the majority of us alone! There are CCTVs everywhere! Why not use them to fine the culprits? That's one way of reducing the ever increasing council taxes....

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    I have a small child who I would love to afford a lot of freedom in the local parks but am unable to due to the amount of 'responsible' dog owners who release their animals the run and deposit their filth at will. Yes most pick up the mess but that still leaves a filthy piece of ground and the liquid that's squirted on trees means they are no-go areas too. To add to that these owners believe their animals to be harmless when the truth is they don't know what would happen if something triggered the dog to act against a small child. The intimidation of strange dogs running about alone is enough to make it right to ban them from public parks.

    P.S. I've always been a dog lover and never let my animal off in public as I was aware of how some people are frightened of dogs. Especially those with small children. If you are a dog owner by choice, go and practice your hobby elsewhere.

  • Comment number 70.

    yet more one size fits none thinking from the old country.. again this is something mainland European countries have a proper handle on, yet we Brits still think we know far better than everyone else in frankly better countries and go down a completely different route, which is to ban everything outright, provide no actual assistance whatsoever in dealing with the problem and pray people will heed the warnings.

    where I live, on every other street there is a free dispenser filled with little plastic bags, specifically made for cleaning up after your dog. attached to this dispenser is a bin where all the filled bags end up. it's free to use.. what's that I hear you say, "why should my taxes go to.. bla bla", well, it does benefit everyone because I can count on one hand the number of dog foulings I've seen here in three years. dog owners who don't follow the dog do bin protocol get fined as a consequence.

    it's amazing what happens if you actually give people an opportunity to take responsibility for themselves, but then that would require actual thought going into the measures taken. unlike Newark and Sherwood District Council, who through this "measure" show themselves to be lazy, unimaginative and thoroughly content to govern in a totally passive manner.

    all that will happen in Newark and Sherwood is that the dog turds missing from the park will be found on the pavement. a little piece of the park, on your doorstep.

    as a footnote, why isn't this being extended to cats? we never had cats when I was a kid, yet our back yard was regularly visited as a feline toilet. your average housecat comes and goes as it pleases and covers many miles every night on territorial prowls. do they make use of the nearest public convenience?

  • Comment number 71.

    I'm disabled (in a wheelchair) and live rurally — no public parks or footpaths — and I exercise my dog on a lead on "country roads". Naturally dogs will want the evacuate their bowel and bladder at some point but I'm sick and tired of the countless horse riders who constantly bemoan me for letting my dog vent their bowel and bladder on the "road" when they can obviously see that I can't pick up its mess when they themselves let their horses do the same on the highway and "public paths" and not clean up after them. If I could clean up after my dog I would but I've never yet seen a horse rider ever get off their animal and attempt to clean up their animals mess. Yes, I agree that you should clear up after your dog if it does a mess in a public park but it should apply to all animals being exercised in a public park.

  • Comment number 72.

    I live in this district and I have to say it is typical of Newark and Sherwood Council. Typical of an overspending lack lustre dictatorial council that is. Laws already exist to enforce such anti social behaviour but they won't allocate any resources to do so. How will they monitor this, place all the wardens who would have otherwised monitored fouling onto ensuring no dogs are walked? And why exclude all dog walkers, including responsible ones just because they cannot be bothered with the effort of catching the few? Are they going to ban ALL car drivers next because so many don't drive within the speed limit? It also promotes car use, and probably cut down on the amount of time exercise is taken. What a bunch of chumps!

  • Comment number 73.

    I am one of the dog owners who always clears up after my dog. But still, I can see why a council takes such drastic action to deal with those who don't clean up or whose dogs are public nuisances. So, in the same vein, when are councils going to ban anti-social humans from parks? Seem to be a lot more of them around than dogs.

  • Comment number 74.

    In small parks and play areas, a ban on dogs is sensible. In larger parks, what's needed are designated areas where dogs can be exercised, coupled with enforcement of the rule to clean up after them - no responsible dog-owner would object to this.
    Unfortunately, spending cutbacks mean there are too few rangers (= park keepers) to ensure that people behave responsibly, while the anti-surveillance brigade object to CCTV being used as evidence to prosecute for offences such as littering and dog-fouling.

  • Comment number 75.

    I am in my 50's and have heard for decades the stories from the dog poo parties. However I have never known of one single person who has been adversely affected by it......apart from the odd wipe of a shoe.
    My children went to parks and suffered no ill I presume they were raised well, and didn't touch anything they shouldn't have and took care over where they went.
    The Councils are employing dog spies to sort out those who don't clear up, and the Police/Councils are there to deal with Dangerous Dogs.
    I would like to ban the foul mouthed, low lives who frequent the parks to trash what others enjoy.............but no chance of that happening

  • Comment number 76.

    I do not own a dog, but even I think this is a bit OTT

    While putting out my bin yesterday I saw a dog walker patiently watch his dog make a mess in my neighbour's flower bed then casually walk on and ignored it - is my council going to ban dogs from housing estates too?

    I think not. I'm sure its the minority spoiling it for everyone but those of us who haven't got dogs would greatly appreciate being able to walk on the pavement or work in our own garden without having to avoid someone else's dog's mess - then there would be no need for banning them for anywhere.

  • Comment number 77.

    I see there's still plenty of Dog haters out there.
    The ban is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, there's rules in place and fines can be made just enforce them instead of overeacting. As for the ones complaining about muck, what about the junk, broken glass, needles, condoms and rubbish the feral youth of today litter about the park. Perhaps we should ban children, better still ban everybody.
    At least I know my dogs are under control and behave themselves which is more than 90% of parents could truly claim.

  • Comment number 78.

    It seems you are always going to have the irrisponsible dog owner, so it seems that restrictions will have to be applied, There are byelaws which many dont seem to obey, I am a dog owner and it disgusts me to see how some owners allow their dogs to roam, while they themselves walk along, nose in the air, completely oblivious to what their dog is doing. Piles of dog crap left on the lawns and playing area where children play, sit and picni, its outragious, and of course now the phenominon of loads of little blue plastic bags tied with a bow, full of dog shit are left lying about, looking over a railway bridge the other day I noticed that someone had found the ideal disposal place for his dogs mess in a bag, he/she lobs it over the bridge onto the railway line, bloody charming and one left in the doorway of a shop, they are all over the place. If I had my way behaviour like this I would attract at least a £1,000 fine and I would make sure this law was imposed too, no good making bye laws and there is no one around to inforce them. Perhpas dog licencing may be one way to help the situation, and only , and I mean ONLY responsible people would be allowed the priviledge of owning a dog.

  • Comment number 79.

    As long as a dog is friendly, the owner cleans up after them then there's no problem. As responsible dog owners wouldn't let a dog off who is likely to bite a child, jump on a child etc!

    But if the cat owning dog haters want to go down that road, how about we bring out cat licenses, make cat owners clean up after their cat when it goes to the toilet in someone's garden, place a bell on them to prevent them killing birds, the council starts lifting cats like they do with dogs when they're out on their own.

  • Comment number 80.

    44. At 12:53pm on 13 Apr 2010, Disfunctional and Grumpy wrote:
    ...What about cat-owners - whose animals NEVER foul their own gardens?...

    Thanks Mr D&G! I'm going to print out your comment and show it to my cat, who doesn't seem to have grasped this yet!

  • Comment number 81.

    Should dogs be banned from parks, not entirely, there should be a designated enclosed area (close to an exit) purely for dogs with the condition that ALL OWNERS clear up the animals excrement and deposit into the bins that would be provided. Park attendants should also be brought back to monitor owners and give on the spot fines for not clearing up after their animal.

    Adults children alike should be able to feel safe and not frightened or threatened by dogs running around them when they are enjoying a walk in the park.

    While we're on the subject, dogs should definately be banned from beaches all year round, I live near a stretch of beach that very often has dog excrement on it because owners don't clear it up.

    Be honest how many of you would:-

    1. Sit on the grass knowing that a dog has peed there. Have you ever sat on a 'wet' spot.

    2. Sit on the sand knowing that it's possible that there could be excrement buried under that section of beach because the owner couldn't be bothered to remove it. The tide doesn't wash it away, it doesn't come right up to the top of the beach.

    Parks and beaches are there to enjoy, not have to be careful where you walk in case you tread in something nasty.

  • Comment number 82.

    There's plenty of human scum to ban from parks first.

  • Comment number 83.

    "Public Parks are not Dog toilets" but the all parks that allow dogs should provide a bio degradable dog toilet, away from childrens play area and the dog owners should be fined min £200, if they do not clean up after they dogs in any public place not just a park any where. The good owners allready do this. Do not Banned any dog from any public park ? this would cause many probelms for elderly dog owners'and would increase stray dogs.

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm not dog owner, but I love dogs. They are cute and playful. I never kept a dog coz I personally find myself not responsible enough to take care of a pet.
    But it has become kinda our national attitude, irresponsibility. &we must have some kinda punishment for this, baning dogs from parks is cruelty to dogs. They deserve an open place to play &jump. &they must not suffer coz their owners are irresponsible &lazy.
    Irresponsible owners must be fined highly for not cleaning. It's their fault not dogs.

  • Comment number 85.

    Should dogs be banned from parks?
    Not entirely: Where else can doggies run and play and make doggy friendships?
    Rather, a method should, be found to fine those owners who fail to be good doggy-owning citizens.
    Banning dogs is the easy way out, but also the most psychologically-distressing to good dog owners and their well-trained pets.
    Most (if not all) of our parks in Canada have restricted areas for dog owners where the dog is allowed off leach. The rest of the public does not have to enter here, but can if it likes.
    Most (if not all) of our parks also have a running camera, which helps to identify irresponsible doggy-owners.
    It’s amazing the power of running the daily film (or stills) on local TV. I guess you’d call it shaming...and of course warning and then fining.

  • Comment number 86.

    Humans need to get off their pedestals, and recognize that they are no better than any other creature on this planet. In fact, in may ways, they are worse than many creatures on this planet.

    They are the most violent species on the planet, the most inconsiderate, the most destructive to the planet, and just generally mean creatures.

    Wake up humans.....while there are a few breeds of dogs that are indeed dangerous, most dogs are way nicer than humans. Give the dogs a break, and accept them in the park. They have just as much right in the park, as you do.

  • Comment number 87.

    82. At 2:03pm on 13 Apr 2010, Maxwell Caulfield wrote:
    There's plenty of human scum to ban from parks first.
    I totally agree. Hear hear, well said.

  • Comment number 88.

    Dogs should be banned, full stop. I am sick too the back teeth of stepping in their waste, I am sick of lazy dog owners, who either leave it or put it in a bag and throw it in the bushes. I have about 50 metres of council 'green' grass out side my house, the other day I counted 30 separate dog poo's on it, and 3 signs warning of the fines for allowing your mutt to do so and also 2 separate dog poo bins. While we are at it can we also ban cats. How come people complain about 'immigrants coming over here and stealing our jobs' yet they are happy for cat immigrants to steal our wildlife. Maybe Im over-reacting, we should instead ban the owners.

  • Comment number 89.

    I don't have a problem with dogs in parks or other public places, but I DO have a problem with their irresponsible owners, though. Until everyone behaves decently I have to reluctantly agree that banning dogs seems the only way to keep public places clean.

    I always cleaned up after my dog - it was second nature to me. If everybody behaved in the same way there'd be no problem. Sadly, we live in a "Nothing to do with me, mate" society where many people don't care about the mess they leave.

    Having said that, there are quite a few people I would ban from public places too!! I absolutely hate litter; fast food wrappers, drinks cans, chewing gum, cigarette ends, etc are all liable to put my blood pressure up!

  • Comment number 90.

    Perhaps you should inquire as to when the parks are going to ban the squirrels, the birds, the butterflies, etc. After all, they all poop also.

  • Comment number 91.

    81. At 2:01pm on 13 Apr 2010, PadiaLady wrote:

    Be honest how many of you would:-

    1. Sit on the grass knowing that a dog has peed there. Have you ever sat on a 'wet' spot.

    2. Sit on the sand knowing that it's possible that there could be excrement buried under that section of beach because the owner couldn't be bothered to remove it. The tide doesn't wash it away, it doesn't come right up to the top of the beach.

    PadiaLady, I take it you don't ever breathe for fear that the air in your lungs has already been through literally millions of other organisms.

    I bet your house is spotless.

  • Comment number 92.

    What about banning children (and adults) who pee in public when there are public toilets nearby?

    And no one has mentioned the bird poo - that can carry nastier viruses than that of dogs. So all parks with ponds need to evacuate geese, ducks, swans, coots, moorhens. Then there are the pigeons and seagulls, and all small tree-dwelling birds.

    Just sort out the irresponsible owners (it is not the fault of the dog). There are laws - the councils are just selecting the cheaper option of bashing all dog owners on the basis that this will also take in the irresponsible ones. You will still see irresponsible dog owners taking their dogs into these parks, and they won't be the sort of people the general public will wish to approach.

    The dog owners who I find the most annoying are not those who fail to clean up after their dogs - they are the ones who do clean up but then leave the bags hanging on trees (I imagine they think they're being jolly funny). Oh, and the ones who go into nature reserves where there are signs asking for dogs to be kept on leads, but the dogs are running loose.

    As a woman, there are some very public places I would not wish to visit on my own in daylight hours unless I had a dog with me. So really the ban is also on anyone who feels vulnerable in a particlar area on their own.

  • Comment number 93.

    "I have been down there a number of times recently and seen people lift the dog over the fence so that it can run around on the pitch but can't get out while they play with the kids in the play area. Ban all dogs from all rec's and parks and sporting pitches."

    Indeed - after all the dog is totally to blame there having lifted itself over the fence, dogs weren't already excluded from that area and it wasn't insufficiently policed at all.

    How would extending a ban that's already being ignored help?

  • Comment number 94.

    "We were convinced that dogs were not allowed in as the vast majority at the Mela were Muslims who do not like dogs. So once again, we were penalised in order to appease Muslims. "

    Did anyone actually confirm that? What do you mean by 'once again'?

    I think there probably are grounds to exclude dogs from certain large events but the real issue there was the exclusion of dogs without any effort to properly explain why this was being done.

  • Comment number 95.

    This is really a much, much, much bigger issue :

    The increasing powers of petty officials.

  • Comment number 96.

    Dogs should be banned full stop. There is no place for them in modern society: they're noisy, smelly and threatening. If we can ban smokers from pubs then we can ban dogs from anywhere near me.
    I would also replace guide dogs for the blind with guide cats. And while we're at it: can't we do something about all the pigeons. Rats that can fly: who's idea was that?

  • Comment number 97.

    I suppose dog discipline has gone the way of child discipline!

    I love dogs, better than children, actually.
    Nothing like watching a well trained/controlled dog having a lovely romp in the park.
    But, like children, you have unruly pets/children and owners/parents - sign of the times, no consideration for others.

    I would like to think that most dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets, (& kids) but unfortunately, that generation of people have long gone!

    But a ban? Having problems with that!
    What about having dog-friendly areas within the parks? Small fee maybe?? Just a thought.

  • Comment number 98.

    Just a passing thought here - I grew up in the 70's where dogs pooped in the street and no-body cleaned it up until the street cleaners came along (when was the last time you saw white doggy poo???) If we saw dog poo, we stepped around it. Dogs would roam in the parks - often without their owners btw - and there would be dog poo in the parks. What did us kids do when we saw it? We stepped around/over it.

    Guess what... I'm now in my 40's and have enjoyed very good health all of my life so far. So may I suggest that instead of wrapping kids in cotton wool, teach them some common sense and stop over-reacting.

    Dog poo may not be the nicest thing on the planet, yes we would prefer dog owners to pick up after their animals, but when all is said and done there are much worse things on the planet and, quite often, much nastier things in parks than doggy poop.

  • Comment number 99.

    They definitely should be banned from parks, especially where children play, even though some do clean up their mess (many don't), there is still traces left on the ground which contains harmfull bacteria which can cause blindness in children.
    We have a problem with dog poo on our street, you have to walk watching the pavement so you don't step in it, absolutely discusting stuff. I caught an older lady letting her dog soil on my front garden, I told her that my garden is not a dog toilet, and she looked at me as though I was speaking a foreign language, my wife caught her again a few weeks later doing the same thing, she explained to her the same thing again, and she just said "well I do pick it up", doesn't this stupid halfwit dog owner get it? i'm sure if I went and dropped my pants and did it in her garden she would be mortified, after all it's animal poo just the same.

    Unfortunately (excuse the pun but) dog poo is my pet hate.

  • Comment number 100.

    This is going to become a case for the equalities commision.I may have to consider acting for my german shepherd in the pursuance of compensation for discrimination.If she is to be banned from parks then I need to know if cats,snails(who leave slime)hedgehogs,foxes,pigeons,any animals of a different ethnic group,frogs,grass snakes,or any other non human will be excluded.As my dog is female I may ask Harriet Harman for her views.There is a yuman rights act is there an animal one we can appeal to.I always clear up after my very sociable dog.I live in the country now and When I helped a farmer to deliver a calf I slipped and sat in cow pats and no doubt border collie poo and I am still alive.


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