Dog Days could be over as Deputy Pat Buckley Seeks ‘Ruff’ Justice

By Seamus Whelehan


TD for Cork East, Deputy Pat Buckley, has called for the establishment of a National Dog DNA Register to stop disgusting dog fouling.
The fed-up official made the unusual proposal as residents in some East Cork housing estates battle to keep their common areas clear of dog mess.
“Many parents are very concerned about the issue, and afraid to let their children play on the green in the estates”
The Midleton based TD said it’s currently difficult for Councils to issue fines because they have to witness the dog fouling and link the animal with their owner.
Since 2017, less than 10 fines have been given out by Litter and Dog Wardens in East Cork for dog fouling offences, despite ongoing complaints.
Council figures reveal that the East Cork Municipal District received the majority of fines, with 7 meted out last year, resulting in one Court appearance. There were no fines issued in the Borough in 2017. In the Cobh/ Glanmire Municipal area just 2 fines have been issued over the 2 year period 2017-2018, with one of those the subject of Court proceedings.
Last month Midleton and Ballinacurra residents were left angry and upset when irresponsible dog owners discarded their dogs mess in two local cemeteries.
Calling on Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton, Deputy Buckley said, “Government must take the lead in assisting the country’s 31 Local Authorities to eradicate the scourge of dog foul.”
He said the use of Dog DNA technology could be the answer to solve the persistent lack of cleanliness in our towns and villages.
The scheme would work by taking a swab from a dog whose DNA is then added to a National Register, which can be accessed to match with a sample of dog litter.
“While the majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pet, a small number choose to ignore the rules. Thousands of Euro in unissued fines lie on our streets in the form of dog foul” said Deputy Buckley.
Under Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act, 1997 an on the spot fine of €150 can be imposed on the owner of a dog who fails to remove faeces from a public place, with the maximum fine for the offence being €3,000.