‘No such thing as a dirty dog, it’s the owner’ says SDLP councillor

Councillors have called for a crack down on dog fouling in the city and district.
Councillors have called for a crack down on dog fouling in the city and district.

Councillors put forward a number of suggestions to tackle the scourge of dog fouling across the Borough, at a meeting of Council’s Environmental Services Committee last Tuesday night.

One DUP Alderman suggested the use of long lens cameras to capture offenders, whilst another SDLP member said that testing the dog’s faeces could trace the owner.

The suggestions were put forward as members learned about a campaign that is set to run across the Borough this month. The campaign has been introduced in response to an increasing number of complaints about dog fouling. As part of the initiative two roads in each of the four council areas will be monitored daily by enforcement staff.

Despite the campaign, SDLP councillor Gerry Mullan felt that it would ‘not make one iota of a difference’.

“I have been a councillor for 16 years and this one of the first things I ever raised as a councillor. Out canvassing and it is the issue that everyone is talking about. I welcome this initiative but it won’t make one iota of a difference,” said the Limavady councillor.

He went on: “All dogs are chipped, why don’t we test the faeces and it would lead us back to the owner. There is no such thing as a dirty dog, it’s the owner,” he said.

UUP councillor Joan Baird said the issue was ‘ongoing’ in Ballycastle. She described the green area leading to the beach as ‘absolutely ridiculous’ and added that the tennis courts in Ballycastle were ‘not exempt’ from dog foul: “It must be our goal to make this socially unacceptable, like smoking,” she said.

Council officer, Bryan Edgar told members that there was information on the dog licence about ‘responsible dog ownership’.

As members highlighted areas affected, SDLP councillor Margaret Anne McKillop said that you could ‘play hop scotch’ one particular road in Cushendall because of faeces.