Photo by: Pha Lina
A woman takes her dogs for a toilet break on the lawn outside the National Museum in central Phnom Penh today.
Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema has warned that dog owners will face fines if they allow their dogs to defecate in public gardens in the capital.
“The flowers will be destroyed if the dogs roam the gardens. Our lawns are for the people to exercise, not for the dogs,” he said at a meeting of the municipal Department of Public Works and Transport on Monday.
Kep Chuktema added that in some other countries, dog owners must carry plastic bags with them in order to pick up after their pets, risking fines if they fail to comply.
The city now has a strategy of hiring private security guards to watch over the greenery.
Sam Samuth, an official at the Department of Public Works, said today that there are security officers who stand in the city’s gardens to prevent dogs from stepping on flowers or defiling the gardens.
However, the governor said on Monday that private security guards are often afraid of dog owners because they are generally well off.
“Some dog owners threaten the guards when they attempt to chase away the dogs,” Kep Chuktema said.
He expressed hope that under the new regulations, dog owners will take responsibility rather than chase off the guards. He did not indicate how much dog owners will be fined for breaching the new guidelines.