Taken from the excellent Bent Society …
Growing up in the 1970's I can remember when cafes and restaurants and even shops began to display health and safety notices in windows and on entrances forbidding access to all dogs except guide dogs for the blind on the grounds of hygiene .
Fair enough you might think. After all, human health concerns should have priority over the convenience of mangy mutts and their peculiarly doting owners. But now that a significant scientific study has found conclusive evidence that germy old dawgs are actually good for children's health, where does that leave the case for keeping dogs away from us in restaurants?
Asthma is on the increase - and its particularly high in the UK today. When I was growing up in the 1960's and 1970's in both Kent and Lancashire there was not one child that I ever knew, or even heard of, who had asthma.
The first time I ever heard about the disease was when I watched an episode of that old 1970's TV show Dr Finley's Casebook. Today it seems that every third or fourth child has some sort of asthma problem in the in the UK (actually it is 1 in 8 children and 1 in 13 adults).
Interestingly for dogs and their owners and the rest of us, a prospective study of 9,000 people, published in the European Respiratory Journal, found that exposure to dog germs had a significant impact on reducing children's chances of developing asthma, eczema and hay fever.
So is the law banning dogs in restaurants barking mad? Is there really a sound health and safety case in the light of this new knowledge for keeping germy dogs out of our eating establishments? Or have the health and safety people actually made a dogs dinner of our health by implementing dog banning legislation in this area?
Unsavoury and unpalatable as it might be to have to sit next to dogs when we eat out, might it actually be good for our health and our children's health to do so once again?
The GOS says: I love it. I'm going to start a poster campaign - "Stamp out asthma! Lick a dog's bottom!"
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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