DOG owners should be fined if they can’t prove to litter wardens that they have bags to clean their dog’s poo.
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) made the suggestion at a recent online meeting of the County Council authority after he and other councillors said the problem of dog fouling has gotten worse during the lockdown.
‘The emphasis should be on proving that you can clean up after your dog rather than catching them in the act,’ said Cllr Hayes.
‘In other jurisdictions like in France if you are stopped by the litter warden you have to prove that you are carrying a poop bag or else you are issued with an on-the-spot fine. Have we ever progressed this by flipping it on its head?’ asked Cllr Hayes.
He said that it would be worth going to the usual spots where people are walking their dogs and carrying out spot checks to see if they have bags with them or hand them out. ‘Maybe after a few months of this public awareness, we can then kick in with on-the-spot fines those who don’t have bags for their dogs. It’s a way of empowering ourselves.’
Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said that all through the lockdown he has been inundated with complaints from constituents about the growing problem of dog poo on footpaths and walkways.
‘Can there be a re-enforcement of the message at a county level in relation to dog fouling as it is being commented on quite a lot?’ asked Cllr McGrath.
‘It might be important to re-invigorate our campaigns especially during this lockdown and get the message out there of the need to be responsible and the need to clean up.
‘There are also health implications to be considered as it’s not just a nuisance it can have real public health effects and that’s an important part of the message,’ he added.