LIMERICK County Council have never issued a fine for dog fouling in a public place, it has been confirmed.
The revelation comes as the local authority prepares to roll out new ‘pooper scooper’ dispensers on a trial basis, in a bid to get pet owners to tidy up after nature has called.
Responding to a question on the matter by Cllr Damien Riedy, Mary Killeen Fitzgerald of the county council environment department confirmed that no fine has ever been issued for dog fouling due to the “difficult” process involved.
In order to hand out the €150 fine for dog fouling, a litter warden has to see the dog create the waste, and be able to identify the dog’s owner.
Likewise if a member of the public makes a complaint about dog fouling, he or she must be willing to identify the owner and possibly give evidence to be used in court.
Ms Killeen Fitzgerald said that given these administrative difficulties, the council are now placing extra emphasis on prevention.
In the next two months, trial ‘pooper scooper’ dispensers are to be installed in the park in Castletroy and the Demesne in Newcastle West.
If these prove successful, they will be expanded to other areas.
Cllr Riedy said that dog waste is creating a serious public health hazard in areas like the Demesne, and needs to be tackled.
He added that parents have approached him with concerns about dog waste near playgrounds in parks.
He welcomed the council’s move to clamp down on the problem.