Pet owners, who have been spoiling Derry’s iconic Bull (John ‘Ug’ Clifford) Park and posing a health threat to children by allowing their dogs foul all over it, have been asked to show greater consideration.
Sinn Féin Councillor, Colly Kelly, has appealed to users of all parks in Derry to pick up their litter and asked dog walkers to use civic dog fouling waste bins that have been provided. He was responding to complaints that a small number of people have been dropping litter and letting their dogs foul in the park on the Moor.
Speaking from Bull Park this week, Colr. Kelly said: “This park always looks really well particularly on a summer’s day like today and is used widely by residents from the greater Bogside and Marlborough areas. A lot of work by the council goes into keeping it in such a good condition. But sadly a small number of people are leaving their litter behind them and more worryingly pet owners are not using the designated dog fouling bins.”
Dog owners are apparently walking their animals through the park and allowing them foul without stopping to pick up the mess.
Colr. Kelly characterised this behaviour as lazy and dangerous given the well known toxocariasis risk posed by the roundworm parasite, which is often present in dog faeces and which can cause serious illness including permanent sight loss.
“It’s apparent that they have no regard for the community or the children who use the park .They are letting their dogs foul and don’t bother to clean up after them. I have been in contact with Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Environmental department ,they have assured me that they are taking the matter seriously. There will be a fixed penalty of £80 for dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs and if it is forced to court the penalty could be £1,000.
“So I am appealing to dog owners not only using this park but parks across the city to act responsibility and have respect for the community and clean up after your dog.”