Dog owners in Derry are being warned that they will face strict financial penalties if they fail to obtain a licence for their pet.
A new crackdown on licensing which has been announced by Derry & Strabane Council is to be enforced over the coming weeks.
Dog Wardens will be taking to the streets to carry out licence checks on pet owners, who will face a fixed penalty fine of £75 or court proceedings if found in breach of the licensing legislation.
The Council’s Head of Health and Community Wellbeing, Seamus Donaghy, stressed the importance of checking if your licence is up to date.
He said: “A dog licence will cost an owner £12.50 or a reduced fee of £5 in certain circumstances. However, dog owners without a licence may receive a £75 fixed penalty, and for repeat offences or non- payment of a fixed penalty they could face a substantial fine of up to £1,000 plus legal and court costs.
“Council Dog Wardens will be carrying out patrols across the Council area over the coming weeks to carry out licence checks and if you are found in ownership of a dog without a licence you may well receive a £75 fixed penalty.
“The onus is on all dog owners or anyone thinking of purchasing a dog to make sure they have a valid dog licence to avoid these penalties.”
Owners are reminded that before purchasing your dog licence, the dog must first be micro-chipped.
Owners are also reminded that if they sell or pass their pet on to a new home, they are required by legislation to notify the Council and the new owner must also obtain a licence for the dog before taking ownership.
Dog Licences can be purchased at the Council Offices at 47 Derry Road, Strabane or at 98 Strand Road, Derry, (by cash, cheque, postal order, or credit/debit card) and also online at www.derrystrabane.com.