Councillors call foul on dog mess issue

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A call was made during a recent council meeting for more prosecutions for dog owners who do not pick up their dog’s mess.

Members of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Operations Committee were discussing the issue of dog control on March 6.

Alliance representative, Cllr Neil Kelly said: “It is only a minority of dog owners who cause the problem. It doesn’t matter how many signs you have up or how close you have bins together, there are people who will just not lift after their dog.

“I firmly believe we need to increase the prosecutions in that. If there are hot-spots, go in and swamp them and prosecute people. There’s only so much education and signage. People are ignoring it and they’re not adhering to it. I think we have to ensure that those who are falling foul, if you like, of our regulations are penalised for that.”

UUP representative, Ald Mark Cosgrove said: “I think this is the single biggest issue, we as councillors are contacted about. I feel this is an area we should consider even more resources for. You’ve got litter on the streets which is a huge issue, but when that litter is actually dog mess, it is vile and disgusting. There is the danger to children and all the reasons why it is taken so seriously.

“If officers could consider in future budgetary processes a step-change in the number of resources we have, because the cost of even doubling the numbers we have would still not provide a brilliant density, but I think even the PR behind it and the ability to get resource to a local area.

“I don’t think the kind of team that I am envisaging, doubling the resource would be a team that this council couldn’t afford.”