Dogs Banned From Phnom Penh Public Parks

Phnom Penh Municipal Gov­ernor Kep Chuktema has banned pet dogs from public parks, mu­nicipal Garden Office chief Sam Sa­muth, said on Feb 9.

Park guards have been empowered to use megaphones to in­form the public that they must stop walking their dogs in Phnom Penh’s handful of small parks, Sam Samuth said.

“His Excellency Governor of Phnom Penh Kep Chuktema ad­vised me to keep the dogs away from the parks otherwise our parks will be absolutely covered with the smell of feces and urine,” Sam Samuth said.

He added that the order, which was issued at the end of January, will protect grass and flowers and limit the smell of canine waste, which is bad for tourism.

“We started using a megaphone to inform [dog owners] of our ban two weeks ago,” he said, add­ing that the ban also extends to the few green spaces on the river­front.

As of yet there is no fine or penalty for dog lovers who break the new rules, but Sam Samuth said he plans to push for a fine in the near future.

Kep Chuktema declined to com­ment on the ban.

Veng Thai, director of the Mu­ni­ci­pal Health Department, said that dog excrement can spread in­fectious disease, particularly to children.

Mu Sochua, SRP secretary general, said the governor should focus on more serious matters than pet waste.

“I think the governor should get his priorities straight,” she said.

“How many people are unem­ploy­ed, how many street signs are not up, and he makes dogs a priority?”

Phnom Penh resident Van Sry, 38, said that she used to walk her dog in Hun Sen Park until she was yelled at by a guard with a megaphone. She has since started taking her dog to the park next to the Royal Palace.

“I do not want my dog to stay at home,” Van Sry said. “Like hu­mans he needs to get out of the house for exercise,” she said, add­ing that City Hall should provide a designated place for people to bring their dogs.

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