Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crottes de chien.

I have written about this before and make no apology for doing so again. France has a serious dog problem. Remember poor old Toulouse?

Well now its the turn of its capital for my attention. Paris has, proportionally, more dogs - 300,000, or one for every seven humans - than any other city and they don't do a thing to clear up after them.

I have just come back from a visit to Paris and in one 10 minute walk I counted 18 dog deposits - the French phrase is "crottes de chien".
The French don't seem that worried, but they should be. An official French Government report on the problem states that their dogs leave 20 tons of mess on the streets of Paris daily and that an average of 650 people a year are hurt so badly after slipping on dog-poo in Paris that they have to be taken to hospital! (Bloody hell!) 

This works out at nearly two victims each day; broken collar bones are the most frequent injury.

Complaints about dog-dirt are the third most frequent reason for letter- writing to the Paris town hall (ahead of fear of crime). And yet convictions of dog owners for "uncivic behaviour" are running at less than two a week.

The city pays €6million a year to a private company, Trottoirs Nets, to cleanse the streets of dog-poo. The company operates a fleet of more than 100 bright-green machines, like motor-cycles with carpet-cleaners bolted to the back, called "caninettes" or "motocrottes", although most Parisians refer to them as "Chieraclettes" - from the words chier (to shit) and raclette (scraper). We Brits copied the idea - remember The Poover from Islington Council?

Most experts believe that the real problem is that the city "legitimises" the offenders by spending so much money on cleaning up.
I witnessed this first hand when I saw a Parisian lady allow her dog to defecate on a busy pavement and walk off leaving the poo where it was. My French friend (& guide to all things Parisian) congratulated the lady saying, "at least it gives work to the young people who work the Chieraclettes!".

So readers, my advice to you is this:

When visiting Paris - walk like a Parisian, not like a tourist. Don't look at the sights, look down and look ahead or you will stand in the crottes de chien!


Peter Arronsen at 28 Apr 2010, 20:47:00 said...

Thank you for a very informative read. This is the kind of public information, which this site is all about.

Never mind "Is Paris Burning", what about "Is Paris Heaving?

Anonymous said...

this portrays the typical retarded french mentality

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