Dog owners risking children’s health

The play park at The Greens, clearly designated as off-limits to dog walkers.
The play park at The Greens, clearly designated as off-limits to dog walkers.

Dog walkers are risking children’s health by flouting rules banning them from a play area in the town, it has been claimed.

At Forfar Community Council’s last meeting, chairman Isobel Ross said that owners have been spotted recently exercising their pets in the play area at The Greens, despite signs clearly designating it as a dog-free zone.

Mrs Ross also expressed concern that not all owners are clearing up after their dogs foul the area.

She said: “Quite a lot of people have been using the play park to exercise their dogs off the lead. I’ve been to have a look and I think people have mainly been picking up what their dogs are doing, but I’m not in favour of dogs being in the play area at all and I certainly wouldn’t let dogs off the lead in there.”

Councillor Glennis Middleton pointed out that anyone spotting a dog owner either breaking such a ban or failing to pick up after their dog can report them to the council at the time.

She added: “If you know who they are, then you can furnish the council with their names and details. There are well documented reasons why dogs shouldn’t be in there, as children can pick up diseases, and I’m sure some dog owners wouldn’t like it if it was their child or grandchild who went into the park and picked something up from dog faeces.”

Among the diseases that can be carried by dog mess is toxocariasis, which can cause blindness and is potentially lethal. Caused by roundworm, the parasite’s eggs can remain in the soil for up to two years and, if swallowed, develop into larvae which will travel around the body and can cause blindness, asthma, epilepsy and general aches and pains depending where they lodge.

Anyone with concerns about dog fouling in their area can report it to Angus Council on the authority’s AccessLine on 08452 777 778.