Report ‘hotspots’ says council over Ballyclare Cemetery dog fouling claims

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council says it has no plans to ban dogs from the borough’s cemeteries.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:38 pm
Ballyclare Cemetery. Picture courtesy of Love Ballyclare

The local authority was responding to concerns about dog fouling in an area of the cemetery at Doagh Road, Ballyclare.

The issue was flagged up earlier this week on the popular social media page Love Ballyclare. Its post read: “Disappointed to hear that there’s been an issue for some time with dog poo being found in the beautiful green space at the bottom of the cemetery on the Doagh Road in Ballyclare.

“Hard to believe that any dog owner could be so irresponsible and disrespectful, in a cemetery of all places. Was actually surprised that dogs were allowed in the cemetery at all. Perhaps it’s time for a change.”

The topic sparked a lively debate with some people pointing out that most dog owners act responsibly while others reported that dog fouling appeared to be a problem at the location.

When the claims were put to council by this newspaper, the local authority said it has not received any complaints recently of dog fouling in Ballyclare Cemetery.

The council statement continued: “On a regular basis, our enforcement officers carry out patrols in this area as part of their normal schedule. We appreciate that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible. We would remind all dog walkers to be mindful, clean up after their pets and ensure that dogs are not allowed to stray from their property unaccompanied.

“Where residents identify hotspot fouling areas, we will target additional patrols accordingly. Anyone who witnesses a dog fouling offence is urged to report this to the council, providing as much information as possible, such as the date, time, location, breed, colour and size of the dog and whether it was straying or being walked by someone.

“This information will allow officers to target their patrols effectively. Dog owners identified failing to clean up after their dog will be issued with a fixed penalty notice (£80) or may receive a fine of up to £1,000 if prosecuted. Offenders can be reported by calling environmental health on T. 028 9034 0160 or via the council’s website or app.”

Council’s Dog Control Orders permit dogs within cemeteries however they must be kept on a lead at all times.

“There are no plans at present to review any of the Dog Control Orders currently in force,” the council added.

Click here to read: Concerns voiced about dog fouling at Newtownabbey beauty spots

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