Saturday 20 December 2014

Just one dog owner fined over fouling so far this year

Cormac Murphy

Published 03/06/2014 | 08:54

Bin for dog waste in a park
Bin for dog waste in a park

JUST a single €150 fine for dog fouling has been issued in an entire Dublin region so far this year.

Fingal County Council wardens, who cover a vast area from Balbriggan down to the Howth peninsula and west to Blanchardstown, have imposed one penalty to date in 2014.

And the situation is the same in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown where only one fine has been levied this year.

However, in the Dublin City Council area, a total of 346 fines were imposed between January and the end of March this year.

The figures were revealed more than six months after a €10,000 campaign to combat the littering offence was initiated.

The Joint Dog Fouling Campaign is run by Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin county councils.

It includes a hotline that can be used to report offences.

Fingal county councillor Darragh Butler said he is surprised at the low numbers.

“I would have expected that number (of fines) every week, to be honest with you,” the Fianna Fail representative told

“Out on the canvass trail, you would be dodging it (fouling) all the time. You would think that extra wardens would pay for themselves (by collecting fines). It’s frustrating,” he added.

While the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, some let their pets out at night unsupervised, he said.

Warning

Under the Litter Pollution Act 1997, 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.

Responding to a question from Cllr Butler, a Fingal spokesperson said “one fine has been issued for dog fouling offences” this year.

“In 2012, two fines were issued. In 2013, a total of six fines were issued.”

And a Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown spokeswoman told

Figures for South Dublin County Council were not available at the time of writing.

Fingal has introduced other initiatives to tackle the problem, including the use of audio warnings.

Devices installed on poles on the Baldoyle promenade last summer resulted in an 80pc drop in fouling.

They emit a verbal warning in response to movement and warn passers-by: “Keep Fingal clean and enjoy your walk.

“Dog foul is dangerous for children. Please clean up after your dog.” It came about as part of a study carried out by Fingal.

comurphy@herald.ie

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