Private enforcement company to tackle Mid and East Antrim dog fouling ‘upsurge’

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to crackdown on dog fouling and littering by bringing in a private enforcement company.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 6:17 pm

The local authority is planning to employ a firm to patrol “hotspots” and fine offenders.

The council says that an external company will be “working alongside the existing enforcement team patrolling identified hotspots, to increase the detection of offenders and get improvements in general cleanliness”.

This week, Larne Rugby Club branded an upsurge in dog fouling on its pitches since lockdown “an absolute disgrace”.

People can send photographs and learn about responsible dog ownership via an app.

Dog dirt has to be removed from pitches before training including sessions involving children as young as pre-school age.

As many as 50 bags of dog dirt dumped by pet owners have also been cleared from a tree at the side of the pitch.

Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly commented: “It’s certainly an issue that we get a lot of complaints about. It’s also one I’ve noticed to be on the rise.

“The complaints from the rugby club are an example of this concerning trend. I think it’s worth trying a different approach which might identify a better way of doing things. It’s worth trying something that might help with this troublesome issue.”

Carrickfergus DUP Cllr Marc Collins has described the figures as “simply unacceptable”.

Cllr Collins has said that dog fouling and litter are “two of the most common and emotive issues that we will deal with as councillors”.

He described the pilot as “a great idea”.

“In August, I raised the issue of the lack of litter and dog fouling penalty notices issued by council and asked for the director to bring back a more detailed report and to look for other ways for us to achieve a higher success rate.

“Hopefully this will act as a deterrent for anyone selfish enough to leave behind dog foul or litter.”

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “The vast majority of our citizens are responsible, but unfortunately there are those who continue to flout the law when it comes to dog fouling, fly-tipping and littering.

“As a council, we don’t want to have to issue fines for people breaking the law, and that’s why we are giving everybody advanced notice of the proposed changes within our borough, and to make people aware.”

The council also encourages members of the public to contact council with any information regarding concerns they have about dog fouling.

It has previously launched a Reportable App for smartphones, which allows people to report dog fouling. Read here

Anybody who allows their dog to foul in public and fails to pick it up can be given an £80 on-the-spot fine.

Michelle Weir,

Local Democracy Reporter

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