Poo raises a bit of a stink

Dog owners who don't carry plastic bags are no different from people with drug paraphernalia. Both show an intent to break the law, Timaru district councillor Kerry Stevens says.

The council had already sat through a day of bylaw submissions in which it seemed every other person mentioned dog poo, when Bruce Pipe appeared with his submission yesterday.

As a dog owner, he too had plenty to say about poo, suggesting when a dog was registered the council could provide a plastic bag carry container which could be clipped on to a dog's lead.

He even suggested an instant fine for those not carrying plastic bags when walking their dogs.

It was better to raise public awareness, making it less acceptable not to clean up after your dog, Mayor Janie Annear said.

If a dog owner was not carrying a bag or suitable receptacle, it was a clear sign they did not intend to clean up, Cr Stevens said. Owners should be fined for that, just as a person possessing drug paraphernalia could be charged with intent to commit a crime.

"What's so onerous about [carrying a plastic bag]?" deputy mayor Richard Lyon asked, adding he could not understand why the council would not insist on it.

But environmental health manager Rick Catchpowle asked what type of bag it should be. Biodegradable? And what if the bag had to be used early in the walk?

"If it takes two bags, it takes two bags, that's not so bad," Cr Lyon said.

"I don't know why we would back off. What we are trying to achieve is not having dog owners fined. We are trying to be helpful."

Bags weren't the only way to clean up after a dog, Cr Pat Mulvey said. "If they put it in their pocket I don't give a hoot".

Cr Steve Earnshaw supported the bag bylaw suggestion, reminding councillors there was a general call from the public for the council to take a stronger stand on the issue.

Dog-owning Cr Damon Odey said he hadn't carried a plastic bag when walking his dog for the past four years - explaining he had trained Diesel the rottweiler to "go" before he left home.

The proposed bag bylaw was outvoted.

The Timaru Herald