THERE is good reason why there are laws to control dog fouling.

Dog excrement looks bad, smells bad and harbours a parasitic worm which can make people go blind. Dog owners can very easily carry a bag with them on walks to scoop up after their dog, should the need arise.

But is it practical to expect horse riders to do the same? I was at a council meeting recently when this issue was raised and it stirred up some interesting debate.

On one side of the divide were those who thought the same policy should apply to both dogs and horses — and on the other those who did not.

My vote, if indeed I had been in a position to have one, would have sided with those who thought it wholly unrealistic for horse riders to take manure home with them. A shovel isn’t the most practical of implements to carry on horseback and neither are a few hefty kilogrammes of manure.

Clarification on the subject was sought from the county council which sensibly agreed that it would be very difficult for the authority to carry out enforcement action against individual horse owners. Three cheers for this reasoned approach!

Horse manure is harmless stuff and much sought after by gardeners. My grandparents used to take bags full of it in their car back to Devon, after they visited us in the summer. It was spread on their garden like gold dust.

Instead of bemoaning its presence on the highway why don’t people scoop it up and give their roses a treat.

In this clinical world we are being forced to live in, perhaps it won’t be long before farmers are reprimanded for permitting their cows to defecate on the road.

Anyone who has ever herded cows will know that they get anxious and the consequences of this anxiety are deposited on the road.

We live in the country for goodness sake. Let common sense prevail!