Horse manure on our footpaths far from bliss, says Jodie

Jodie Bliss with her dog Jala walking past horse poo on a footpath at Stafford Street, Silkstone. Jodie is not happy that horse owners aren't cleaning up the mess from their horse when they are allowed to ride them in public.
Jodie Bliss with her dog Jala walking past horse poo on a footpath at Stafford Street, Silkstone. Jodie is not happy that horse owners aren't cleaning up the mess from their horse when they are allowed to ride them in public. Sarah Harvey
MUCH MANURE: Jodie Bliss with her dog Jala walking past horse poo on a footpath at Stafford Street, Silkstone.
MUCH MANURE: Jodie Bliss with her dog Jala walking past horse poo on a footpath at Stafford Street, Silkstone. Sarah Harvey

HORSES trotting on Ipswich roads and footpaths are causing a stink in the community.

Frustrated residents are becoming fed-up at the sight of horse manure littering walkways across the region.

Bundamba mum Jodie Bliss, said a footpath in Silkstone, where she walked her dog, was a regular minefield of horse poo.

Ms Bliss said she was disappointed by the disregard some riders had for pedestrians.

She said having to step around the horse droppings was a nuisance and added that it was also unsanitary, smelled bad and looked awful.

"It's not just a little bit - it's all the time," she said.

"No one cleans it up the manure, it can remain there for days."

Ms Bliss suggested horse owners who ride their animals on footpaths should be made to pick up their horse's dung in the same manner as dog owners.

"Dog owners have to collect any waste their pooches produce or risk a fine," she said.

"I think the same responsibility should apply for horse riders who travel on footpaths.

"If such a rule exists in Ipswich, it's definitely not being enforced well enough."

But Plainlands horse owner Shannan Weston-King said the idea of asking riders to scoop up their animal's poo was a ludicrous one.

The 19-year-old said it was difficult to even know when a horse was relieving itself when riding on top of it.

She also pointed out that horse manure was organic matter and commonly used as fertiliser in agriculture, whereas dog poo wasn't.

"As if I would get off my horse if it did a poo," she said. "Horses only eat grasses, their manure is all natural."

Equine veterinarian Louise Cosgrove said unlike dog poo, horse faeces also didn't carry worms that could cross infest humans.

Dr Cosgrove who works at Exclusively Equine Veterinary Services in Hatton Vale said the only health risk with horse manure was if the animal was contaminated with hendra virus.

"That would be very unlikely though, as contaminated horses normally show signs when they are infected with the disease," she said.

But Ms Bliss said that didn't excuse riders from littering the footpaths with manure.

"You can't fertilise concrete, if you're not willing to pick it up, don't ride on the footpaths."

Ipswich Health and Community Safety Committee chairman Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said the council's local laws did not draw a distinction between owners' responsibility for waste clean-up by animal species.

"A failure to clear horse waste is treated identically to failure to clear any other type of animal waste and incurs a $220 fine," Cr Antoniolli said.

"Horse owners need to be aware they will need to clean up after their animals."

Topics:  editors picks footpaths horses

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