IN response to previous correspondence on dog mess, let there be not the slightest doubt. New Forest Dog Owners' Group does and always has supported the principle that dog-owners should pick up after their pets in car park areas.

The recent Codes for Dog Walking in the New Forest, printed with our logo as an endorsement, states: Prevent your dog fouling on footpaths and around car parks. If it does foul, remove the waste.' The full text of this code has been sent to every NFDog member.

It is not irresponsible' for NFDog to refuse to lend its name to back the current Forestry Commission campaign.

The Forestry Commission's Progress Project linked the campaign inextricably to what might be called a dodgy dossier', which contained figures we believe grossly exaggerate the number of dogs in the Forest and the amount of waste they leave.

The Forestry Commission stated it intended making future management decisions based on the report.

Following responsible pressure from NFDog, it has now agreed that the report is not robust.

The deputy surveyor has confirmed that we will not be using the estimated figures themselves to underpin future management decisions'.

He also confirmed that the Forestry Commission would be providing a link to our website, which features a report on our own estimates for the relevant figures, assuming that report contains a reasonable statistical base'.

These estimates are to be found on our website at, by following the link to our Noticeboard'.

All animal excreta, including those of ponies and cattle, are unpleasant to humans and potentially dangerous at close quarters.

However, dogs have their part to play in the complex ecology of Forest life.

I am currently spearheading some ground-breaking research into the organisms that break down dog faeces, and potential bio-control.

Accurate and meaningful information is essential to understand and manage all aspects of the New Forest not misleading statistics.

We are nearly there. NFDog's target has been to persuade the Forestry Commission to come clean, remove their figures, which contain such elementary errors, and work with NFDog to ensure all users of the Forest can enjoy the peace and freedom of this wonderful place, in a considerate and responsible manner.

DAVID DICKENSON, Veterinary Surgeon, for NFDog. Address supplied