herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Only 13 owners were fined over dog fouling last year

Dublin's local authorities join forces to combat dog fouling on the beaches, parks and streets. Pictured were Rua and Joanna O'Driscoll, Knocklyon.
Dublin's local authorities join forces to combat dog fouling on the beaches, parks and streets. Pictured were Rua and Joanna O'Driscoll, Knocklyon.

Only 13 fines were issued across the whole of Dublin for dog fouling offences last year.

In November 2013 the Joint Dog Fouling Campaign saw €10,000 spent by all four Dublin local authorities to tackle the nuisance.

But only a handful of fines have since been issued by councils.

Fingal County Council issued three, all of them in May.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council sent out five fines - one each in March, April and September and two in October.

South Dublin County Council issued three fines and Dublin City Council only two.

The Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) group said dog owners do not see the threat of a fine as a reality, and so are less fearful of being caught not cleaning-up after their pet.

"There is no real incentive to clean up after your dog from a legal perspective, just your own sense of responsibility or the concern of being given out to by a neighbour," said IBAL spokesman Conor Horgan.

disgusted

"While dog fouling is not the most prevalent form of littering, it's certainly one that generates most comments from members of the public who are annoyed and disgusted by it."

Under the Litter Pollution Act, it is an offence for a person to allow a dog under their control to foul a public place.

Owners can be issued with an on-the-spot fine of €150 or a maximum fine of €3,000 on conviction.

The responsibility of cleaning up after a pet is not restricted to simply putting the waste in a bag - it also includes taking it away and disposing of it in a sanitary way and not tying a knot in the bag and leaving it behind.

The job of issuing fines is the responsibility of litter wardens in each of the local authorities.

Dublin City Council estimates that around 30,000 dogs live in Dublin city and county.

The campaign's €10,000 budget was spent on media coverage, distributing information to all houses in the city and county and on talks delivered to residents and in schools.

"Dogs are the responsibility of their owners, and not cleaning up after your dog is absolutely unacceptable," said Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

hnews@herald.ie

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