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Residents of a housing estate on the outskirts of Belfast draw attention to the dog poop problem in the area – by spraying it orange.
Members of the Ballybeen Improvement Group in Dundonald, along with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Councils, have started a four-week program to encourage all dog owners to pick up after their pooch.
Andrew McCormick, community development officer for the Ballybeen Improvement Group, said failure to collect your dog sludge poses a serious risk to the health and well-being of children.
He added, “The dog fouling issue is getting out of hand in Ballybeen and many residents are upset that it is happening across the property.
“For the next several weeks, people on the property will see orange markings aimed at highlighting the uncollected dog poop.
“We’re going to search about six streets a day and spray paint any dog growth we see on the ground. Enforcement officers will issue a ticket to those caught who don’t pick it up.
DUP Cllr Sharon Skillen said: “We try to make it clear to dog owners that they have to take responsibility and reach for their dog. This is a great initiative that has worked in other parts of the world to address this irresponsibility and some of the health problems it may pose for young children. ”
(Image: Ballybeen Improvement Group)
As early as June, proposals to create a DNA database to track down those guilty of dog fouling were rejected by Lisburn and Castlereagh city councils.
The plans of the local authorities have forensically examined dog feces in order to find the owner of the animal.
Dog fouling in the authority increased in the 12 months from 371 in 2019/20 to 404 in 2020/21.
The idea was turned down after it was found that building the database for the council would cost £ 766,000 and an additional £ 28,000 for operating costs.
The scheme would have been similar to that of those involved in criminal activity, with swabs used to link the dog fouling to owners who then faced a fine for failing to clean up the mess.
Currently in Northern Ireland Councils can issue a felon with a £ 80 assessment penalty which is reduced to £ 50 if paid within 14 days.