Louth councillor calls for database to target dog owners failing to pick up excrement

ireland
Louth Councillor Calls For Database To Target Dog Owners Failing To Pick Up Excrement Louth Councillor Calls For Database To Target Dog Owners Failing To Pick Up Excrement
Cllr Pio Smith said shaming tactics seem to have worked in parts of Spain.
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Elaine Keogh

People have to negotiate their way “through a minefield of dog droppings,” in Drogheda, Co Louth according to a councillor who wants the Council to consider developing a database to identify the owners of the dogs.

Such databases have been introduced in other countries with success, according to Cllr Pio Smith who said there is “a small minority of dog owners who couldn’t give a damn in regards to the law that requires them to carry a litter bag to collect their dog droppings.”

“Neither do they care for the pedestrians, children, wheelchair users, walkers and joggers who have to negotiate their way through a minefield of dog droppings on the public paths throughout our town,” Cllr Smith said.

He added: “This is a public health issue as dog waste contains bacteria that can cause serious illness to people.”

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Dog owners should be made “register their animals on a database that collects information that would enable DNA testing on dog litter,” he said.

“In Brunete, Spain, civic minded volunteers monitored their area and reported people who failed to pick up after their dogs. The excrement was returned to the owner titled 'lost property'."

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He said this has lead to an 80 per cent fall in offences, adding: “It appears that shaming actually works in reducing the amount of dog fouling on public streets.”

At a monthly meeting today, Cllr Smith asked the council to investigate the possibility of setting up such a database.

He said the cost of the DNA testing could be built into the fine given to the dog owner.

The Director of Operations and Environment Services, Catherine Duff, said she will discuss it with the County Veterinary Officer.

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