BY and large, I’m an animal lover.

No, let me qualify that. I don’t love animals and I don’t go all weak-kneed and gushing when I see cute kittens or cuddly puppies.

I’m a vague sort of quite-like-most-animals type of person. I view animals as a fact of life.

I don’t particularly want thousands of badgers to be culled but by the same token, I’m willing to be persuaded it’s necessary, if indeed it is.

I don’t like the idea of grown men dressing up in pink jackets, jumping on horses and chasing foxes around the countryside for their amusement but it may well be something needs to be done to control the fox population.

I don’t really want rats or mice in my kitchen and would probably take some action if they strayed into my territory but if they stay out of the way at the bottom of the garden and only come out at night I’m prepared to adopt a live-and-let-live policy.

I don’t want cruelty to animals to be the norm or to be acceptable but I’m also quite happy to eat a nice lamb joint on a Sunday. I am an animal moderate.

You can see my quandary. It’s almost not allowed to be a moderate these days. It’s seen as a sign of weakness, a form of moral turpitude.

You’ve only got to go on Facebook or Twitter to see that people have very extreme views about just about anything – especially animals.

My indifference to animals does, however, have boundaries.

I don’t like those creatures that have the potential to hurt me.

Pretty high up on my list of ones to avoid are wasps.

If anyone can explain to me what is the point of wasps, I’d be moderately interested to know.

I’m wary of bees and jellyfish but don’t mind spiders at all.

Cattle and horses worry me because of their sheer size but given I’m never likely to get up close and personal with one, that’s not a problem.

But the one group of animals way out there at the top of my ‘avoid at all costs’ list is dogs.

Oh, and you can add dog owners as well.

At this point, I suppose I should confess that my pathological dislike of our canine companions can be traced directly back to a number of unfortunate incidents when I was a small boy including the mutt that lived just down the road that seemed to think it was its mission in life to bite me whenever I came within 30 yards of his house.

It never went for anyone else – just me – and this was back in the days when owners could happily leave their dogs out on the street all day.

At the other end of the scale was my aunt’s dog that formed an unnatural and unwelcome amorous attachment to my leg... on more than one occasional.

The phrase ‘scarred for life’ could have been invented for the way I felt towards dogs by the time those two had finished with me.

Those experiences have coloured my views towards dogs from that day on.

As far as I’m concerned, they have no redeeming features.

They smell, they slobber, they are indiscriminate about where they leave their mess, they moult. Do I need to go on?

But what makes it worse is the attitude of their owners who, to a man, are incredulous that you don’t want to share your space on the planet with their prized pooches.

On behalf of people like me, I would like to pass on a few things to dog owners.

We don’t care if Fido ‘just wants to be friendly’ – it is not acceptable for him to sniff my groin.

We don’t care if he ‘just wants to play’ – it is not acceptable for him to jump up and put his dirty paws on my clean clothes.

We don’t care if his excessive barking is because ‘he’s just excited’.

People like us find it intimidating.

When your dog feels the need to go to the toilet in public and you don’t feel the need to remove the mess, you should be jailed for three months minimum.

And no, I do not want my face licked by any animal whose idea of personal hygiene is to lick its own genitals clean.

I rest my case.

Before ‘Angry of Antrobus’ feels stirred into action, I concede the work done by police dogs, drugs and bomb sniffer dogs, sheep dogs and guide dogs is vital and is to be applauded.