Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has stressed that it is taking “a proactive approach” to tackling the problem of dog fouling.
Responding to calls for it to get tough on irresponsible pet owners, the local authority says it has been focussing on enforcement and education to raise awareness and change attitudes.
“We are keen to build on the success of this approach by stepping up our campaign to ‘stamp out’ dog fouling for good,” a spokesperson said.
“On the enforcement side, wardens patrol the borough and issue on-the-spot £80 fines, paying particular attention to ‘hotspot’ areas. Our patrols also act as a means of deterrent to offenders and to reassure residents that patrols are being undertaken. Patrols are carried out on foot, bicycle, in marked and unmarked council vehicles and in private vehicles.
“In order to try and tackle part of the problem, council has also adopted a robust enforcement policy in relation to stray dogs.”
The spokesperson continued: “We also know that there unfortunately remains a small number of irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their dog whilst out walking or by owners letting their dogs out of the house or pen to run around the neighbourhood late at night or early in the morning to foul. Dog owners know it is not acceptable to leave dog foul lying in the park or on the pavement. The message is clear, ‘Your Dog, Your Mess, Your Responsibility’.”
Council initiatives aimed at tackling the issue of dog fouling include educating people about the importance of responsible dog ownership, the Green Dog Walker scheme encouraging people to clean up after their pets and the ‘Fed Up With Fouling’ campaign, which encourages people to report fouling offences.
“Other ideas to tackle irresponsible dog owners are currently being developed as part of the Clean Neighbourhood project. These include the design of new publicity materials and introduction of dog control areas,” the spokesperson added.
Anyone who witnesses a dog fouling offence is asked to report it to the council’s Enforcement Officers on 0300 0300 900 or by email - firstname.lastname@example.org
The council can issue fixed penalty fines by post if it has the date, time and location of the incident, the name and address of the owner (or car registration) and a description of the dog.