Dog owners are being encouraged to pick up after their pet, even though new data reveals that fines being issued by Wardens are far from adequate. 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. The figures were released on the request of Sinn Fein Cllr Danielle Twomey at Monday’s Southern Committee Meeting, called for dog fouling Byelaws to be implemented across the county.
The Midleton based Cllr said the results were “appalling” given that dog fouling is a huge issue in East Cork. “The Council is aware of how huge the issue is, yet it seems there are no plans in the works to tackle it, when other Councils have made real headway” she said
Monaghan County Council offer free micro chipping and registering linked with life time licences. Limerick County Council ban dogs in cemeteries; Laois invite the public to make submissions on a yearly basis to see how they can improve to tackle the situation; Dunlaoire Rathdown have appointed various Byelaws to beaches regarding dogs, and so has County Clare.
In a written report, Ted O’Leary, the County’s Senior Environment Officer said there are currently no plans to establish Byelaws but said if the Cllrs had “particular policy recommendations or suggestions” for tackling the dog mess epidemic, they should have them discussed at the Council Environment Strategic Policy Committee.
Independent Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said it would be useful if there could be CCTV installed at known hot spots. “There is dog poo everywhere. People have no regard whatsoever for the beautiful walkways and areas we have to offer, and are allowing their dogs to poo everywhere.”
While Sinn Fein Cllr Michael Frick Murphy said “It’s obvious we don’t have enough Wardens in our area and there must be more done by Council.”
There are currently three dog wardens covering the south Cork area.
Cllrs Cathal Rasmussen, Labour and Fianna Fail Cllr Seamus McGrath both said there needs to be a combined approach of education, awareness and enforcement. “The number of fines are paltry in regard to the number of offences, and basically it means there’s no chance of being caught” said Cllr McGrath. “As somebody who goes out quite frequently with a buggy, it’s literally an obstacle course and a health and safety issue because, unless you are extremely careful, you are bringing it back into your house”