AN article in the Manx Independent (August 12) stated that there was an ‘estimate of 220 tonnes of dog mess littering isle’. I think dogs, in general, get very bad press regarding this.
I walk my dogs regularly and I would question the stated volume of dog mess that is ‘littering the isle’. I would state that on my walks with my dogs, dog mess is the least of the problem when it comes to our open spaces being unattractive for people to visit.
The areas I tend to frequent are Smeale, The Ayres, Ballaghennie, Cornaa, Ballaglass and various beaches. The first three places are let down badly by the sheer volume of rabbit faeces that, in many places, form a carpet of faecal matter.
I am aware that it will be stated that rabbits are wild but the mess they leave could be cleared off pathways by using a small suction sweeper (and culling would also reduce the volume of it). However, this becomes problematic with the next offender of fouling our isle: horses.
They deposit, by comparison, large volumes of excrement that often block off the narrow paths (and their owners should also be made to clean up after their animals).
I suspect they carry some blame for the erosion of the pathways as they thunder along, leaving sizeable dents in the paths that erode into holes making the pathways hazardous for everyone else. So, between picking your way through horse excrement and trying not to step on too much of the rabbit faeces, walking in those first three areas can be unpleasant.
I can say, with certainty, that dog mess is by far the least of the problem.
As for Cornaa and Ballaglass, I have yet to see a problem there. Beaches do not seem to be a problem either as the tide clears the beach.
By all means, enforce the clearing up of dog mess, but it should apply all round – one form of faecal matter is no more acceptable, or objectionable, than another.