Shannon and Walker speak out over the Easter period on the need to stop dog poo being left on roadways etc by uncaring owners.
Strangford DUP MP Jim Shannon and his party colleague Cllr Billy Walker in the Newry Mourne and Down District Council area are calling for measures to see less dog poo polluting our streets, roads, parks and pathways.
Jim Shannon MP has called on Ards and North Down Borough Council to increase the amount of Dog Poo bins throughout the Borough. He said: “I am aware that the Council have changed their policy to allow and indeed encourage dog poo bags to be thrown into general waste black bins.
“However, I have been contacted by furious residents from Saratoga, from the Belfast Road in Newtownards, from Stratheden and indeed many more areas from home owners who are finding that whilst people are picking up their dog poo in a bag, they are now throwing then into fences and peoples gardens.
“The general feeling is that it is because people are having to walk almost their entire route with this bag and they sometimes dump them at first opportunity. If more bins were available, the bag could be placed in the appropriate receptacle.
“I am therefore calling on the Council to up the amount of dog poo bins in its area. I am aware that the Borough inspectors are doing a great job in catching people not picking up after their animals and this is to be recognised and congratulated.
“I am further asking that dog walkers to remember that whilst you may think that as the dirt is in a bag it is harming no one. But this is not the case when people are strimming their grass and trimming hedges or their children are out in the garden picking up the bags of poo.
“It is simply not fair and not right for homeowners and families to be forced to pick up after your dog.
“This is not acceptable and I am urging ALL dog owners to be responsible and take the dog of poo home to your own black bin if there is no other bin on the way home.
“It may not be pleasant but it must be done.
Walker Calls For Change in Legislation To Increase Fines
Rowallene Cllr Billy Walker too recently pressed home the need at a full council meeting of Newry Mourne and Down District Council to be more proactive in addressing the dog poo blight across the district.
Cllr Walker said: “I appreciate that many people have dogs and walk them which is good during this long period of the lockdown. But I am deeply concerned at the amount of dog poo around Killyleagh and indeed across the whole district. I receive a lot of complaints about this each month and it is really an issue that has to be addresses once and for all.
“Too many people are allowing their dogs to foul our roadways and it has to stop. They must be responsible for their pets and pick up the poo in a plastic bag and deposit it in either a council bin or in their own bins at home.”
Rowallene Councillor Billy Walker is a vociferous campaigner to stop dog fouling. Speaking to Down News, Cllr Walker said: “Dog fouling is on the rise because people are furloughed, out of work and spending more time in the open. As a result a few dog owners are flouting common sense and are not picking up their dog poo. Most dog owners are responsible and I think this is a plus.
“However, the mess left by these offenders who don’t pick up is a danger to public health and we need to act now and deal with it directly. I know that Ards and North Down Borough Council has more council officers to address this issue than our own Newry Mourne and Down District Council, but our officers are doing a good job, but are fighting a losing battle.
“Donegal County Council has raised the bar to a maximum fine of €5000. And the county is virtually dog poo free! So we need to ask the NI Assembly to amend legislation to increase the existing fine to a level where it is a real deterrent.”
Cllr Walker added: “It is not difficult to put a couple of dog poo bags in your pocket if you are going out for a walk with your dog. You can now deposit these bags in any bin so there is no excuse for dog owners not making more of an effort.
“It’s time to get tough with the issue of dog poo. We need to send out a message that we are serious about lifting the poo. We have a beautiful county and it is a shame that tourists, visitors and our own local people are blighted by this menace of dog poo.”
Newry Mourne and Down District Council Explains The Current Position Over The Dog Poo Debate.