Dog owners have been called upon to clean up after their animals following concerns over fouling on the city’s Peace Bridge.
Local community activist Frankie McMenamin said he was shocked to see the level of dog foul on the pedestrian bridge after an evening stroll over the bridge last week.
Mr McMenamin said: “There’s people walking over there and letting their dogs do business without cleaning up after them. When I was walking over it the other night there was a woman and three children and one of the children stepped in it. I felt sorry for that family.
“Right along the bridge there seemed to be dog dirt everywhere. I was totally disgusted by it. I saw about seven different dog dirts all over it.”
Mr McMenamin called for more to do done to tackle the issue and questioned whether CCTV cameras in the area were being checked.
“There are people with young families, tourists, cyclists using that bridge. There must be hundreds upon hundreds if not thousands on it every day,” he said.
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that Council is “committed to eradicating the problem of dog fouling” through awareness and enforcement.
She said the Council cleans the Peace Bridge three times per week – on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday and that dog fouling bins are located on both sides of the bridge. She added: “The onus is on the public to take responsibility for their dogs by cleaning up after them and using the facilities that are available and taking into account other users of the Peace Bridge by keeping it clean.”
She said that the Council is using its powers to impose fixed penalty notices of £80, which can lead to fines of £1,000 if cases are pursued through the courts. She also urged people to ensure they carry poop scoop bags or plastic bags with them while walking their dogs.
Urging anyone with information about dog fouling to contact the Council, the spokesperson said the Council has been “proactive”, introducing more dog fouling bins and dog fouling signage along parks, popular walkways, and in problem areas. areas, while dog wardens and park wardens are currently patrolling these areas and issuing fixed penalties.