THE organisers of a protest against dog fouling at a recreation ground in Builth Wells say they’ve made their point after more than 250 people turned up to show their support over the issue.
Protesters carrying signs and wearing T-shirts bearing slogans gathered in the Groe car park on Saturday, January 6, before parading up the High Street, returning to the Groe via Strand Street where they were met by Builth Wells Mayor, Meryl Prynne who addressed the crowd.
The protest was organised in response to a growing and persistent problem of dog fouling at the rugby club’s home ground at the Groe, with junior games having previously been stopped to clear up dog faeces which can cause toxocariasis in humans, potentially leading to blindness.
Builth Wells Rugby Club president Mike Price, whose Facebook videos highlighting the topic gathered widespread support last year, said the high turnout showed the depth of anger over the problem.
“The day went really well and I think we made our point. Over 200 people turned up and it was very well supported,” he said.
“I think anything we can do will hopefully make a difference, obviously we're not going to solve the problem completely overnight but all we can do is keep hammering away at people and hopefully the message will get through.
“Obviously with so many people turning up it shows how people feel about it and hopefully it'll shame a few people into acting a bit more responsibly in the future.”
Powys County Councillor for Builth Jeremy Pugh echoed the concerns and said he would be pushing for a meeting with Powys County Council to make the Groe area subject to a Public Space Protection Order. The measure would allow the local authority to impose restrictions to deal with anti-social behaviour affecting others who use the park, and Cllr Pugh believes the threat of prosecutions is now the only thing that will make a significant difference to the problem.
“I did go down to the protest and afterwards I took my grandson back through the park and the amount of dog mess down there was absolutely shocking,” he said.
“Some people have no idea where their dogs are fouling and to let it go on out here on an open field where kids play is absolutely disgusting.
“What I’ll be pushing for as Powys County Councillor for Builth is where people are caught letting their dogs foul on the field is for people to be prosecuted and fined and I honestly feel that’s the only thing that will stop it carrying on.”