Campaign to clamp down on dog fouling

Campaign to clamp down on dog fouling

5 December 2018

LOCAL council officials have unveiled a new campaign aimed at helping rid the district of its dog fouling problem.

It is a particularly contentious issue and one of the single most complained about problems in the area and, despite valiant efforts over recent years by council officials and others, the issue has not been adequately addressed and there is virtually no town or village not affected by it.

This week, Newry, Mourne and Down Council has launched a new awareness campaign to remind dog owners about the importance of cleaning up after their dogs. 

Rolled out after a survey by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful found that levels of dog fouling had increased from the previous year, the local authority is determined to get a grip on the issue.

One of the biggest problems the local authority has to tackle is the hardcore of dog owners who point blankly refuse to clean up after their pets. 

While the mindset of these particular individuals is hard to fathom and it is concerning that they are prepared to turn a blind eye to potentially harming children who come into contact with the mess their animals leave behind, council officials hope the new campaign can change minds.

Dog owners are being reminded that it is their responsibility to clean up after their dogs and that not doing so is leaving them open to an £80 fine.

In addition, dog owners are reminded that they are responsible for training their dogs properly to ‘do their business’ in their owner’s garden where it can then be collected and placed in a black bin.

Politicians have become increasingly frustrated at the blatant disregard some dog owners and ratepayers are displaying and are keen to finally address the dog fouling issue. 

There are a number of notable dog fouling hot spots across the district and council officials are prepared to do all they can to tackle the problem. Politicians are also conscious that dog fouling is a problem which does nothing to enhance the district’s image.

The new campaign is reminding dog owners that they should never allow their pets to foul on the street and that when out in public to carry a bag with them so they can collect dog dirt and dispose of it properly.

Council chairman Mark Murnin said all councillors were unanimous in their support for the new  awareness campaign.

“We intend to monitor and extend this initiative over the coming months,” he explained. ”Dog fouling is a serious matter and we need to remind dog owners that not only is it unacceptable, but also can potentially cause disease.

“It is important that we develop and promote a culture of responsible dog ownership and are asking all dog owners to help us keep the parks and open spaces in the Newry, Mourne and Down area clean and welcoming for all users.”

As part of the new campaign, notices about dog fouling will be displayed prominently across the district to ensure that the local authority’s message to pet owners is clear to all.