Tuesday 20 March 2018

Talking lamp-posts to aid 'powerless' wardens in tackling Dublin's 'dog litter black spots'

Dog 'fouling' was the single biggest issue raised during a recent public meeting with DCC
Dog 'fouling' was the single biggest issue raised during a recent public meeting with DCC

David Kearns and Martin Grant

Talking lamp-posts are set to be installed across Dublin city to help tackle dog owners refusing to clean up after their pets.

Dublin City Council is proposing to use pre-recorded messages in areas tagged as dog litter black spots due to the difficulty in enforcing littering laws.

The new talking lamp-posts are aimed at aiding the 18 litter wardens currently employed to cover Dublin’s city centre and will cost the council €320 each month per location.

In 2015 only 30 fines were issued for dog fouling offences across County Dublin, and, of these, 26 were against dog walkers in Dublin city.

“The law needs to be strengthened to give more powers to the litter warden and dog warden,” a spokesman for Dublin City Council said.

“When a person refuses to give their name, neither the litter warden or dog warden have powers of restraint. 

"This means the dog walker can just walk away and refuse to clean-up.”

If owners are caught for not scooping their dogs’ poop they are liable for a hefty fine of €150 or €4,000 on court conviction.

Last year the council’s 18 litter wardens issued 2,290 fines for littering, including dog fouling, but almost 70 pc went unpaid.

Dog fouling was the single biggest issue raised during a public consultation ahead of drafting the city’s Litter Management Plan 2016-2018.

According to the Irish Times, Dublin City Council is also planning a 12-week advertising campaign in cinemas to highlight dog fouling issues, as well as a social media campaign to encourage dog owners to post selfies online using the hashtag #binthepoo.

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