Belfast Telegraph

Belfast's bid to force dog owners to carry bags binned

A plan to force dog owners in Belfast to carry bags to clean up after their pet has been rejected by the Department of the Environment.

Belfast City Council lobbied the DoE to introduce a law which would have enabled dog wardens to issue fixed penalty notices to dog owners without bags or other means to clear up after their dog.

The proposal was contained in a Belfast City Council dog-fouling action plan. However, the DoE decided not to amend the current legislation.

It is currently an offence for a dog owner to fail to remove excrement left by their dog.

Owners can face a fixed penalty of up to £80 if they are caught allowing their dog to foul a public area.

Belfast City Council issued 232 fines to dog owners on that basis in 2013.

Stephen Corr, who chairs Belfast City Council's health and environmental services committee, said the proposal was only one of a number of ideas to tackle the problem.

"I don't know how enforceable that would be," he said. "To stop and question someone to produce a dog-fouling bag is not that practical in essence."

Belfast Telegraph

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