West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"Lift it, Bag it, Bin It-Scoop a poop or face a £50 fine"

Published: 2 April, 2014

That is the stark message to dog owners who still allow their dogs to foul on pavements and green areas of our towns and villages in Strabane District warned Sinn Féin Councillor Karina Carlin.

Councillor explained that since being elected to Council in 2011, the biggest single issue for local ratepayers, in terms of volume of complaints has been, and continues to be, the scourge of dog fouling.

Following representations made last year via a dedicated Facebook Page called "Strabane's Dog Fouling Problems," Councillor Carlin requested that the Council's Environment Committee for a special working group to focus on the issues of dog fouling and littering generally.

"A need for a second dog warden was quickly identified and actioned and since appointing the second warden , there has been a very significant increase in enforcement to address dog straying, unlicensed dogs and dog fouling, which has had some positive impact on the problem," Cllr Carlin said.

However, enforcement alone will not overcome the problem. The attitude of dog owners, who still believe it acceptable to permit their dogs to use public streets as a toilet, needs to be challenged and ultimately changed through Council and residents working together. Last year, Council adopted an innovative "pink spray campaign" to highlight just how bad the problem is in certain areas and bins and signs have been erected at many dog fouling "hot-spots." Council also provides free "poop a scoop" bags for dog owners at the Council Offices and new bags have been printed with the Council's "Lift-It-Bag It-Bin It" message.

Cllr Carlin urged dog owners to heed the message or face the consequences-a hefty fine.

"I want to see Strabane District Council leading the way on this issue. We have already achieved a great deal of progress but much more needs to be and can be done if we are to successfully beat the scourge of dog fouling.

"I wish to thank local people for the massive support for Council initiative in this regard to date. With continued cooperation and a sharp focus on this issue, I believe we can get the message out there that in 2014, Strabane District should be and must be free of dog dirt-and it begins with each of us doing our bit.