NO fines for dog fouling have been issued in Cork city since 2017,can reveal.
In fact, information obtained from City Hall revealed that just four fines have been issued for dog fouling in the city since the Act making it an offense was introduced in 1997.
Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 makes it an offence for the person in charge of a dog not to clean up when their dog fouls in a public place This obligation particularly applies to public roads, footpaths, parks and beaches.
Since the Act was introduced in 1997, Cork City Council have issued a total of four fines, all of which were issued in 2017, when City Hall wardens focused on the offense for a period of four weeks.
All of these €150 fines have been paid.
No fines were issued in 2018, 2019 or so far in 2020.
Michael Sheehan, administrative officer for litter management at City Hall explained that the Litter Pollution Act 1997 requires that a litter warden must observe faeces being deposited by a dog and must also observe the person in charge of the dog failing to remove the faeces before a fine can be issued.
“This presents a particular challenge as the majority of instances of dog fouling take place early in the morning or late in the evening when dogs are being walked, or are let out unsupervised, and when the wardens are not on duty,” he said.
“Cork City Council can also issue a fine if a member of the public witnesses an incident of dog fouling and can identify the owner of the dog and is prepared to attend court as a witness if required.
“Cork City Council takes the issue of dog fouling seriously and has established an anti dog fouling subcommittee of council who proactively promote, through awareness and education, responsible dog ownership,” added Mr Sheehan.
The information obtained by The Echo also revealed the number of litter fines issued in 2019 and for the first six months of 2020.
In 2019, 1,178 fines were issued for illegal dumping or littering, 93 were issued for overloaded bins or other waste presentation issues, 50 fines for illegal postering and three fines for litter on land.
In total, €67,300 was paid in litter fines to City Hall last year.
So far in 2020, 295 fines have been issued for illegal dumping or littering, along with 73 fines for illegal postering, 34 for waste presentation, six for litter on land and four for placing waste into or near public litter bins.
To date, a total of €45,415 has been paid in litter fines this year. However, this may include payment of fines issued in previous years.