ONLY one dog fouling fine was issued in the authority area of Cork City Council in 2022, and none so far have been issued to date in 2023, a Cork Labour Party representative has learned.
South East Area Representative Peter Horgan said it has been clear for some time that the byelaws and system of fines is not fit for purpose.
“We can all throw our hands in the air and cry ‘personal responsibility’, or we can attempt as a city to do something proactive about it. Posters are not working and have not worked for a long, long time,” he said.
“The recent investment in areas like the Blackrock Railway Walk, the closing of cars on the Marina and the investment coming there needs to have health measures tacked on to deal with a minority impacting the majority.
“It is a health risk and people can snigger and shrug their shoulders every time it is brought up, but the data doesn’t lie. We need a zero-tolerance approach. End of,” added Mr Horgan.
A spokesperson for Cork City Council toldrecently that, to issue a fine, the litter warden “must actually witness both the dog depositing faeces and the person in control of the dog neglecting to remove the faeces”.
“The practicalities associated with this mean that it is almost impossible to issue fines for such offences,” they added.
The council spokesperson explained that, alternatively, a member of the public who witnesses a dog fouling offence can make a complaint to the litter warden or litter management section.
However, the spokesperson went on to add that, in such a case, a fine can only be issued “if the complainant can provide the identity and address of the person who was in charge of the dog at the time, and if the complainant is prepared to go to court if necessary and give evidence”.