Dog fouling fines should increase to €1,500 as “a radical solution to a radical problem,” a Green Party TD has said.
Patrick Costello has called for a ten-fold increase in the fine for dog fouling – increasing the penalty from €150 to €1,500.
The Dublin South Central TD said the current enforcement system was not working given that in 2019 Dublin City Council issued just one dog fouling fine.
“Every which way you look there are lots of problems. We can do more than this,” he told Newstalk radio.
Mr Costello defined the problem as a public health and equality issue.
“People in wheelchairs have been on to me about the need to disinfect their hands having rolled through dog waste. So, it is a huge problem and we need to do more,” he said.
If people thought there was a low chance of being caught and fined then they would not pick up after their dog, he said. “It’s all about the balance of risks. High fines will discourage people from not picking up.”
He said fines needed to be increased to change the way dog owners think.
“My hope would be that we can find other ways we can increase enforcement and make it more likely you are going to be caught and, in that case, then you can start bringing the fine back down.”
Mr Costello noted that in 2016 in Dublin South Central 78 fines were issued, more than the rest of the country. This showed that more litter wardens were needed, he said.