Canine association shuts down ‘Flick a Poo’ campaign

July 31, 2023

Canine association shuts down ‘Flick a Poo’ campaign saying it will do more damage to the environment than good.

CALLS for dog walkers to leave their dog’s poo without picking it up could be damaging, according to an industry-leading canine association.

A campaign was set up last month by a dog owner who is urging others to ditch their plastic bags and simply leave their dogs poo in a bid to cut down on single-use plastics.

However, the Professional Association of Canine Trainers (PACT) is urging dog owners to do the opposite and says the advice could be doing more harm than good.

They say that while they support the reduction in the use of single-use plastics, the result of leaving the poo to decompose can cause a host of issues to the natural environment.

Natalie Light, one of the directors at PACT has a degree in zoology and worked for almost a decade with the local Wildlife Trust on projects aiming to minimise the impact of dog walking on ecology.

She said: ‘While we know this campaign came from a good place and Carina is absolutely right in cracking down on single-use plastics, the approach needs to be different. Not only is dog poo gross to step in, but it can also have serious environmental implications for the plants that grow there and the grazing livestock.

‘For example, dog poo contains a high level of nutrients that can significantly alter local habitats. Wildflower meadows, for example, thrive in low nutrient environments, and over time may transition to becoming grass monoculture, reducing ecology and the quality of the environment for humans.’

Dog poo can contain pesticides, which could cause damage to the local ecology if left.

There is also a risk posed to humans, as dog poo can contain viruses which can be harmful to humans, such as toxocariasis, which could increase hazards to other humans in the area.

PACT believes that condoning one form of littering will encourage other littering and could lead to an increase in rubbish on the streets and in sensitive environments.

Jason Light, another director at PACT is a chartered environmentalist and said: ‘The real response to this issue is to change human behaviour and encourage people to pick up the poo and put it in a bin. There are also perfectly good compostable bags on the market which will degrade should one be dropped, or someone accidentally leaves a poo in one in a sensitive location. Instead of campaigning for the opposite of picking up poo, we would suggest the energy would be better focused on banning non-compostable poo bags.’


Jan 23, 2024
Helen Small

Just bag it and bin it.
If your dogs poo isn’t easily pick-up-able, their diet needs adjusting and/or vet advice.

We generally use one bag per walk for our lurcher and whippet.

The brown paper packaging that comes with some online parcels is perfect for picking up “good” poo. Use the poo bag to carry your mini parcel until you can empty the bag into an appropriate bin.

It seems clear to me we all need to do our bit for the environment, community and our dogs. Let’s all start thinking about, and using, alternatives to plastic.

Aug 12, 2023
Susan Williams

Totally agree with PACT on this, I always use bio-degradable poo bags and I think all plastic ones should be banned. I think owners just need to get used to picking up after their dogs and after a while you don’t even think about it. Flicking it out of sight where it can be a problem for other species and the environment is not the answer.

Aug 12, 2023

I would love to see you work together on this – as a combined force you would achieve so much more and faster

Aug 12, 2023

I would love to see you work together on this – as a combined force you would achieve so much more and faster

Aug 12, 2023
Pam Needham

There are concerns about raw sewage polluting rivers. Leaving dog poo around is no different. Rain will wash the nutrients, pesticides and pharmaceuticals through the land and into water courses. If everyone left their dog poo around we’d be treading in it everywhere due to the huge increase in dog ownership since lockdown. This campaign is flawed. There is no substitute for bag it and bin it, wherever you are walking your dog.

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