Is the nation 'too British' to tackle dog poo problem?

Dogs Trust launches The Big Scoop campaign to appeal to the British public to help clean up after the nation's pooches

This comes as local councils receive over 81,000 complaints about dog poo in just one year

We may be a nation of dog lovers, but with a population of over 8 million dogs in the UK, unwanted dog mess in public places is a huge issue. Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity has warned that whilst 47% of people in the UK say dog poo is their biggest bugbear in public spaces, above smoking, littering and pollution, and 73% come across dog poo on their local area at least once a week, the nation may simply be 'too polite and British' to tackle the problem.

According to a recent survey by the charity, 62% of people have witnessed someone failing to pick up after their pooch but 61% of those polled were ‘too polite’ to call the offender out on their foul play. What’s more, despite over 50% of people admitting to having had days out ruined by an unwanted encounter with dog mess, just 28% of people polled said they had ever directly asked an offender to clean up their dog’s mess. 1 in 10 UK adults even admitted to going as far as picking up after someone else’s dog to avoid asking the owner to do so.

Over half of those polled said they would be put off from approaching an owner who didn’t pick up after their dog because of the owner’s appearance and 29% said the size of the dog would have an impact on their decision to wag the finger at an irresponsible owner.

To mark this year’s The Big Scoop campaign, Dogs Trust has launched eight installations across the UK featuring catchy “love lines” slogans on bench wraps, free poo bag dispensers and posters. These installations are intended to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dogs and to remind them that ‘any bin will do’ when getting rid of doggy doo. Dogs Trust also hopes the campaign will make it easier for the public to point dog-owners to bins and poo bags.

Alex Jackson, Head of Campaigns at Dogs Trust says:

“Dog poo is still one of the biggest complaints received by local councils every year, with 81,000 complaints received from members of the public last year alone, so it’s important that everyone is aware of how simple disposing of dog mess can be.”

“The Big Scoop campaign not only supports local councils to help keep their local area a pleasant and dog poo-free place, but also aims to educate the public on responsible dog ownership. Failing to pick up after your dog gives dogs and dog owners a bad name, but, encouragingly, we only need to persuade a small minority of owners to scoop their dog’s poop to achieve our mission of making community spaces poop-free.”

‘The Big Scoop’ campaign launches today (31st August 2016) and aims to encourage all owners to pick up after their dogs. However Dogs Trust hopes the message resonates with dog owners throughout the year. Owners could be fined £80 if they fail to pick up after their dog.