Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes councillor in call over police horse dung

A Milton Keynes councillor has asked police to address concerns over droppings left on roads by their horses.

Isobel McCall, Liberal Democrat councillor for Campbell Park, suggested to Thames Valley Police that police horses could wear bags to catch manure.

The force told her it takes pollution seriously, but "manure is a by product of police patrol activity".

Ms McCall now wants them to reconsider their position.

She said she had contacted the force twice after residents complained to her about manure on the Redways in the Fishermead and Oldbrook areas where the police exercise their animals.

Ms McCall said many people were having trouble getting around the piles, especially those in wheelchairs, cyclists and people with children and pushchairs.

'Benign' by-product

She explained that in some European towns, such as Bruges and Vienna, horses were fitted with bags to avoid this problem.

"I have contacted the police and suggested that the horses wear bags to catch the excrement, but the idea has been 'poo-pooed' for 'operational' reasons," she said.

"Surely they could be used when the horses are just out exercising, or the police officers could pick up the manure?

"If you drop a cigarette end or a crisp packet on the footpath or allow your dog to foul the path you can be fined, but a police horse is allowed to make a huge mess and the public are expected to accept this."

Thames Valley Police said in a statement that pollution was something the force took seriously, but as officers were working with animals, they were "somewhat in nature's hands" when it comes to options.

"Legislation places no restrictions on horse manure as compared to dog mess as the by-product is considered benign, hence the reason it is sold untreated to gardeners," the force said.

"We will of course make every effort to avoid problems but the horse manure is a by-product of police patrol activity which I am sure you would not wish to see reduced."

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