A call has been made for action to be taken against riders whose horses leave piles of dung on pavements and public roads. Following complaints that this is as much a problem as dog mess left on pavements, a UK car hire company has called for a £1,000 fine for horse riders who do not clear up after their equine partners.
ValueHire.co.uk has highlighted the growing problem, saying that riders should face the same penalties as dog owner face if they do not clear up after their canines.
Spokesperson Susan Jones for ValueHire.co.uk said: “ A substantial amount of our customers are cross about this. Horses can leave an extraordinary amount of mess on the roads compared with a dog, so why should they be exempt from any of the fines dog owners face?
“Not only do cars have to drive around or through this mess, but anyone who uses the road could cycle or walk in it too. It is really dangerous.
“A fine would at least help to pay for the additional costs to authorities of clearing up horse mess, which is especially important in a time of tough cuts where savings need to be made everywhere.”
A total of 76 per cent of people surveyed by the car hire company said they thought horse mess should be the responsibility of the owner, and welcomed the idea of fines for those who didn’t clean up after their animals.
One Sussex motorist, said: “I live in a place where people ride horses on public roads and you often have to drive through piles of dung. Most of the time I’m driving and it gets on my tyres, but sometimes I’m walking and have to pick my way through it. It’s disgusting, I don’t know why we treat horse mess any differently to dog mess, it’s wrong and they should be fined.”
And she is not alone. A total of 27 per cent of mothers surveyed said they have steered their prams and pushchairs into the road to avoid horse mess on the pavement, while 23 per cent of drivers said they had swerved to avoid horse mess in the past.
This means the manure on the roads is not just a smelly inconvenience but also a serious health and safety hazard to drivers and pedestrians and could even be a factor in accidents.
ValueHire.co.uk suggests a £1,000 fine per individual fouling offence, which they say would mean either horse riders took measures to clean up their horse mess or they contributed sufficiently to the clean-up by local authorities.
It says almost every park or public space has signs warning of the penalties dog owners face if they leave dog mess lying around. And now it is calling for the same punishment to be applied to horse riders too.