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Dog Poo, Controversy And Public Health Information
Posted by David Cant on June 20, 2013

I’d like your thoughts on this please.

As aficionados of the world of health and safety you’ll almost certainly be as concerned as we are about dog faeces in public places. Which is why I’d like to hear your thoughts and reactions to a rather controversial campaign by Bristol City Council to get the message out there.

We all know that dog faeces can be extremely harmful, as well as being downright unpleasant. The trouble is though that because most of it is on public highways and community areas it’s the local council that’s responsible for it – health and safety legislation and regulations enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) only apply to private property, such as that owned by businesses and organisations.

However, local councils are still governed by health and safety regulations as far as dealing with dog faeces and other offensive waste in terms of how it is handled by their employees. There’s a document published by the HSE detailing this guidance which you can download here:

So councils are tasked with trying to tackle the problem of dog fouling in a variety of ways, including of course the statutory fines they can enforce. But this alone is rarely enough to put those persistent offenders off, and with a variety of signs and reminders it is often hoped that the message will eventually make it home.

Hammering The Message Home Harder

However, Bristol City Council isn’t leaving that to chance, and has recently introduced a hard hitting and highly controversial publicity campaign which makes its message very clear indeed, albeit in a fairly distressing and unpleasant way.

Here’s their poster:

Bristol City Council Poster

I’d like to hear what you think of it, whether you think it goes too far, whether it’s distasteful, if it’s appropriate or if you think it could be effective, or even perhaps whether it doesn’t go far enough? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.


Director at Veritas Consulting. 20+ years as a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner with a brain you can pick. A trusted, risk savvy portfolio professional who is fluent in practical advice and an effective workplace solutionist.

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One Comment

  1. Andrew Barrow
    July 10, 2013 at 11:48 am

    It’s an interesting campaign from an advertising point of view in that it targets the sinned against rather than the sinner (parents instead of dog owners).
    Is it an implied admission of the failure of previous campaigns or that there remains a hard core of dog owners who simply refuse to recognise their responsibilities when it comes to their animals?
    You’re of course correct to suggest that it could be considered distasteful but at the same time one could argue it’s deliberately shocking to break through people’s inertia.
    And after all, isn’t it the point of advertising to break through the every day and getting people thinking/talking about the issue?

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