Number 2 to become Number 1 priority? DNA testing for Newry dog fouling to be discussed

Posted by
paul.malone86@googlemail.com
Friday, February 21st, 2020
Community, News, Politics

Alliance Party representatives have announced their innovative plan to tackle the widespread issue of dog fouling.

The initiative, which will be brought forward as a motion at next month’s Council meeting reads as follows: ‘Recognising the extent of dog fouling across the District and the need to consider innovative solutions to tackle this problem, the Council will investigate the viability of using DNA testing to identify offenders and aid enforcement officers in issuing fines, alongside an enhanced public awareness campaign of the dangers of dog fouling similar to that of other councils.’

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Councillor Brown, Rowallane DEA said, “As a dog owner, I love nothing more than going for a walk with own dog, however I get extremely frustrated and concerned when I see how irresponsible others can be by leaving dog waste in public areas.

 

 

“Dog fouling is an issue that impacts constituents across the entire Newry, Mourne and Down district.

“DNA testing, whilst potentially an expensive measure, would be a certain way to identify offenders, and I think people would be much less likely to let their dogs foul if they knew it could be traced back to them through a DNA register.

“Not only is dog fouling an anti-social nuisance, there is a high risk of toxocariasis, which is a very serious health issue, especially for young children.

 

 

He added, “Toxocariasis can cause seizures, severe stomach upset, sore throats, respiratory problems, and in extreme cases, blindness. This is not something you should have to worry about when you take your child to the play park or out for a walk.”

Helena Young, Alliance Party representative for the Newry DEA added, “Dog fouling remains a huge problem right across the District; it is disgusting and unsightly but also potentially dangerous.

“I am constantly receiving complaints and concerns from residents regarding dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs.

 

 

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council launched an initiative over a year ago to tackle this issue however, there doesn’t seem to have been any improvement in the situation.

“I am really pleased that Patrick is putting this motion forward and hope that it will encourage more public awareness and perhaps an increase in enforcement and penalties for irresponsible dog owners.

She added, “Always remember to Bag it and Bin it – dog waste can be put into any public litter bin.”

 

 

Councillor Brown added, “Despite previous Council assurances that this issue would be tackled, from April to October last year only five fixed penalties were issued for dog fouling.

“This is extremely low, especially when compared to the 148 issued by Ards and North Down District Council.

“This Council needs to take action now by exploring various initiatives, from DNA testing to educational campaigns, to ascertain which will be the most effective in preventing this increasingly prevalent and dangerous issue.”

 

 

 

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