More initiatives to combat dog fouling

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There has been a significant reduction in the amount of dog fouling in the council area, a new report has revealed.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has vowed to continue to focus their efforts on reducing the amount of dog fouling after an annual report highlights a significant improvement on our streets.

The ‘Cleaner Neighbourhoods’ report 2017/18, commissioned by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, reported that there has been a reduction in the amount of dog fouling in the past year within the borough, even so it still remains an issue high on the council’s agenda.

The annual survey recorded that dog fouling was present in only 1% of areas surveyed, compared with the Northern Ireland average of 6%. This is a reduction on the figure of 6% reported for the ABC area in 2016/17.

Lord Mayor councillor Julie Flaherty said: “This is a superb result! The report shows a very clear reduction of dog fouling in our borough. Council has led a number of high profile campaigns on this emotive subject and this shows that the work we have undertaken along with the commitment of our residents in addressing the issue of dog fouling within our communities is having a positive impact.

“However we need all dog owners to act responsibly to stamp out this disgusting issue by picking up after their pet and disposing of it in a sealed bag in the nearest litter or dog bin.”

In recent years, council has undertaken a number of initiatives in order to reduce the amount of dog fouling.

One such initiative is the Green Dog Walkers scheme designed to support residents who pick up after their dog and remind others who currently do not pick up of their responsibilities.

Information is given out to pupils in local schools who have signed up to the council’s environmental awareness sessions and to residents at local events.

The scheme offers a free goodie bag to those who sign up and take the pledge to be a Green Dog Walker.

Other schemes to get the message out about the possible consequences dog fouling include “Clean Up or Pay Up” stencils for use on footpaths, new signage and outdoor banners installed in an effort to reach as many residents as possible with the hard-hitting message. The spraying of dog fouling has been another effective way of highlighting trouble spots and encouraging dog walkers to act responsibly.

To complement the various educational initiatives, enforcement has played an important role in tackling dog fouling and littering behaviour. Focused patrols are carried out by wardens across the borough and an £80 fine issued to those not picking up after their dogs.

Dog fouling may be reported by calling 0300 0300 900 and completing a confidential report.

You will be asked for your name and address, contact details, the date, time, location and details of the offence. The offender will not be told who made the report but the information may help Council to follow up the complaint and issue fixed penalties.

If you are concerned about dog fouling in your area or for more information on any of the initiatives to tackle this issue, please contact Environmental Health on 0300 0300 900 or download the FREE Bin-Ovation app from the Google Play or Apple App store.