Fianna Fáil councillor Conor Keelan has labelled the the continued failure of owners to pick up after their dogs a “menace” and has urged Louth County Council to follow suit after other local authorities in dealing with the matter.
Under the Litter Pollution Act 1997, it is an offence for someone to allow their dog to foul a public place. A dog owner who fails to clean up after their animal faces of €150, with a maximum fine of €3,000 for those convicted after failing to pay the fine.
However, dog is fouling is almost impossible to police without detecting the act as it occurs while prosecution and fines require witness testimony.
Speaking at Tuesday’s September meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District, Cllr Keelan said; “Dog fouling is a menace.”
“If we are doing away with our dog waste bins, we should surely provide an incentive to dispose of dog waste elsewhere. Tipperary County Council provide receptacles to their citizens whereby dog walkers can walkalong any thoroughfare or greenway and take a receptacle and dump them inside any bin.
“It is a good system and it could be replicated here,” he added.
The receptacles he referred to were Tipperary County Council’s Mutt Mitts. Available via dispensers at convenient locations throughout the county, the Mutt Mitts are plastic gloves that turn into bags for the easy disposal of dog poop. There are approximately 60 Mutt Mitt dispensers across Tipperary.
The bags can then be disposed of in regular waste bins. Louth County Council have recently said they do not intend to replace existing or add new dog waste bins, citing that the waste can be disposed of in regular bins provided it is bagged.
Dogs are carriers of dog roundworm (Toxocara Canis) Which can be transmitted to humans through eggs in dog faeces. Contact with infected dog poop can cause loss of sight with children particularly at risk.
Children are the group most susceptible as their immune systems are underdeveloped and risks of contamination are higher when children play outdoors in neighbourhoods where dog owners do not responsibly look after dog waste.