Stray dogs now have unfettered access to the new children’s play area – installed as part of a £600,000 pre-election scheme by the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council .
The children tried out the new play equipment for the first time yesterday afternoon
However local parents have already noticed that there are no gates to prevent dogs entering the compound.
The old play area which local residents said had years of life left in it – had access controlled by fencing and gates – and was relatively dog-proof. The new play area isn’t.
The Cliff Top play area has some fencing – but open gaps have been left in the fence to form open entrances
There is nothing to prevent dogs wandering into the play area, urinating and depositing faeces there.
Experts say dog faeces carry toxicariasis germs which can lead to serious disease and cause blindness in children .
In theory dog owners can be fined up to £1,000 for allowing their animals to stray into the play areas – but enforcement is a particular problem , especially with dogs roaming free.
Anyone can easily catch the disease from encountering dog mess – but children up to the age of four are said to be particularly vulnerable .
Toxicaria can cause asthma, stomach upsets sore throats and seizures – but worst of all it can damage the eyes and cause blindness.
The Cliff Walk play area carries small Vale of Glamorgan Council notices prohibiting dog fouling. Although the signs are bilingual they are unlikely to have a much of a deterrent effect on the animals themselves.
One local resident who visited the play area yesterday says “I am hoping the gates will be replaced as they will keep out any dogs and their owners with ‘bad habits’.”