Roughyeds support council initiative

Date published: Monday, September 20, 2010

ROUGHYEDS are happy to announce that the club is backing Oldham Council’s drive to rid the borough’s streets and open spaces of dog mess.

As part of its campaign, the Council staged a photo-shoot at the Whitebank Stadium on Friday which, among others, featured Roughyeds’ centre Mick Fogerty and the club mascot, Roary the Roughyed.

The Council later issued the following press release:

OLDHAM LAUNCHES ANTI-DOG FOULING CAMPAIGN

Oldham Council is joining forces with Keep Britain Tidy to wage war against irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up after their pets.

There are currently around eight million dogs in the UK, producing approximately one million metric tonnes of faeces each year – that’s enough to lay 1,300 Wembley-sized football pitches.

Many dog owners responsibly dispose of a large proportion of this mess but there are still some owners who are prepared to leave their dog’s mess littering the Borough’s streets, parks and countryside.

Dog mess can be thrown in any general litter bin but a recent Keep Britain Tidy survey shows that four out of five respondents were unaware of this fact.

Oldham Council and Keep Britain Tidy are today launching a new campaign to combat the problem – calling on dog owners to bag and bin their dog’s mess as “there’s no such thing as the dog poo fairy!”.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Dog fouling is the most offensive type of litter on our streets and is constantly rated as one of the most important issues blighting their local area by the public.”

“Having our streets and parks caked in dog mess is disgusting. It looks unsightly, can make areas appear run down, is unpleasant for those who stand in it and is dangerous to our health.

“Being a responsible dog owner means picking up after your pet. A large percentage of the public are unsure as to where they can bin their dog’s mess – the simple message is any general litter bin.”

In recent years, there has been a growing problem of dog waste bags found hanging on trees, on railings or stuffed in hedges. It would appear that some dog owners are picking up their dog’s mess but are then simply dumping the bags. Keep Britain Tidy’s latest campaign aims to raise awareness that any litter bin can be used to dispose of dog mess.

Oldham Council is one of 85 partner councils across England who are teaming up with Keep Britain Tidy to clean up their streets.

Councillor Rod Blyth, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection, said: “We are delighted to be backing this initiative with Keep Britain Tidy. “

“The majority of dog owners are responsible members of the community but a small number of inconsiderate owners choose not to clean up after their pets.

“This anti-social behaviour causes annoyance to people using our streets, parks and countryside, and – worse still – it can cause a serious health hazard.

“As well as this campaign we are also currently consulting the public on important proposals for dog control orders that could see them extended in order to improve community safety across the Borough.”

The campaign was launched in association with Oldham Rugby League Club at their Whitebank Stadium today. The Co-operative Championship One Grand Finalists have offered full backing to the cause and are helping to raise awareness of the issue amongst their supporters.

A trailer roadshow that will distribute leaflets and advice to the public will also be out and about in the Borough this week at:

* Monday, September 20: Oldham town centre (9am to 5pm)
* Tuesday, September 21: Chadderton Library and Wellbeing Centre (9.30am to 12.30pm)
* Wednesday, September 22: Chadderton Library and Wellbeing Centre (9.30am to 12.30pm)
* Saturday, September 25: Chadderton Hall Park (9am to 2pm).

Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, but can be dangerous. Fronting the national Keep Britain Tidy campaign is two-year-old Amiee Langdon, who has tragically lost partial sight in her left eye after falling in dog mess last month. Amiee’s mum, Suzanne, is calling on all dog owners to clean up after their pets to prevent anyone else suffering the same fate as Amiee.