‘Honeymoon period is over’

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.

Dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets, have come under fire from SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.

Colr. Mullan said a high number of people have been in touch with him expressing “revulsion and disgust at the proliferation of dog fouling extending to all parts of the borough”.

“It is clear to me that the problem is on the rise with too many dog owners refusing to carry a ‘poop scoop’ and do the decent thing by bringing their pet’s deposits home.

“This is having a profound effect on children and mothers with buggies, wheelchair users and people with limited sight in particular,” said Colr. Mullan.

“However, it isn’t confined to footpaths, but is causing serious problems on playing fields and open spaces.

“Those involved don’t appear to be aware that this practice is a source of disease which, in extreme cases, could lead to blindness.

“The carrying of ‘poop scoops’, or plastic bags was, for a long time, an education process but that period is now long past and there is an urgent need to look at other ways of ensuring that our environment and the health of our people is protected.

“That obviously means enforcement by financial penalties for those who either allow their pets to run wild, or are caught without the means of clearing up the mess which dogs cause.”

Councillor Mullan said the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council “should make the environment a top priority and identify dog fouling as a major problems”.

“This will involve a campaign to raise awareness and make serial offenders aware that the honeymoon period is over and, from now on, stiff financial penalties will occur just as is the case for many other offences much less serious than dog-fouling,” added Colr. Mullan.