THERE are fears in some quarters of a surge in cases of dog fouling not being picked up by owners in north Antrim as an unfortunate by-product of the recently introduced controversial bag tax ... but so far officials have said there is no evidence of that happening locally.

A 5p levy was introduced in Northern Ireland in April but just over two months later there is concern being expressed by some that it is leading to more dog foul on the streets because dog owners have no plastic bags to take with them when they take their pooches for walks.

At nearby Ballymena Council, one official said incidents of dog fouling had increased since the bag tax came in.

The Mayor of Ballymoney, Cllr Evelyne Robinson, told the Times she personally has not heard any more complaints than usual about dog fouling.

“I would appeal for people to continue to lift dog foul as fouling is a dangerous practice especially if it is in parks. There is a danger associated with dog fouling and dog owners really need to continue to work hard to make sure they clean up. I hope there won’t be an increase.”