Fears for children as dog fouling increases

by Gazette Reporter
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The issue of dog fouling is creating a major stink in North Dublin this week with one angry resident saying she fears her grandchildren will pick up dog faeces and become ill from it.
Speaking to The Gazette, the frustrated grandmother from Swords described the problem as “disgusting” and said it is getting worse in both Malahide and Swords.
“They’re not having any consideration for people out walking, you’re sidestepping dog poo everytime you’re out,” said the resident, referring to dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets when walking in public areas.
“We go walking in both Swords and Malahide and every morning you see people not picking up after their dogs.
“There used to be bags supplied along the Estuary for them to pick it up but people were taking more than one and that was it, it stopped.”
While there are a number of dog owners who do pick up after their dogs, the resident said there are “an awful lot of them” that don’t.
The irate resident said she has seen people pick up after their dogs but then leave the bag on a wall or hang it out of trees.
“I find if someone is walking a dog and the dog has stopped, if they see you, they’ll make the effort to pick it up.
“I’ve got grandkids myself and what I’m afraid of is one of them picking it up,” she continued.
“A child doesn’t know any different. You can go blind and there are diseases attached to it. I’m not against dogs, I love animals myself but at the same time, why let your dog poo and not do anything about it?”
While local Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) agrees a problem exists in the Dublin North area, he insists the issue is “no different to anywhere else”.
“I feel that most people who bring their dogs for a walk make the effort,” he said.
“You do hear incidents of the bags hanging on trees but I don’t understand why people go to the bother of cleaning it and then leaving it for others to dispose of.”
When it comes to issuing litter fines to those failing to pick up after their dogs, Cllr Lavin said it could be implemented more.
“It isn’t only a dog warden who can issue a fine for dog littering. The litter warden can do it, the gardai can do it. It’s not depending on just the two dog wardens for the whole of North Dublin,” he said.
At a recent council meeting, Fingal County Council issued a reminder that certain legal provisions exist in relation to obligations imposed on dog walkers to clean up after their dogs.
A statement made to local representatives stated that dog faeces is regarded as litter and according to Section 22(1) of the Litter Pollution Act 1997, “where faeces has been deposited by a dog in any place to which this subsection applies, the person in charge of the dog shall immediately remove the faeces and shall ensure that it is properly disposed of in a suitable sanitary manner”.

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