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New bill from Green Party TD would increase fine for dog fouling tenfold

Almost one in three fines over the last four years have never been paid.

Image: Shutterstock/Kashaeva Irina

GREEN PARTY JUSTICE Spokesperson Patrick Costello today introduced new legislation designed to significantly increase the fine for dog fouling from €150 to €1,500.

The proposed bill would amend the Litter Pollution Act 1997 and Costello believes the higher fine will result in cleaner streets by increasing the deterrent for those failing to clean up after their dogs.

It would also result in greater public health and would incentivise enforcement by local authorities who will generate more revenue, he said.

Figures recently released by Dublin City Council show there has been effectively no enforcement in the Dublin City area since 2019 with one fine issued in the last three and half years.

The most fines issued by DCC in recent years was 78 in 2016 which equates to revenue of €11,700 under the current legislation, and would be €117,000 under the new proposed fines.

According to figures compiled by RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, around half of the country’s local authorities failed to issue a single fine for dog fouling in 2020, while almost one in three fines over the last four years have never been paid.

Deputy Costello said that the current fines are not deterring anti-social dog owners and that if a new fine and proper enforcement were introduced local authorities could reinvest the money as seed funding for “new poo prevention initiatives”.

Speaking ahead of introducing the Litter Pollution Amendment Bill (2022) in the Dáil, Deputy Costello said: “This is an issue which has blighted communities across the country for many years”.

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“Since I entered politics in 2014 dog poo has been the single most repeated complaint to me when speaking to constituents. It’s on their streets, in their parks and on the footpaths outside their local businesses.”

“This bill is very simple, if enacted it increases the deterrent and incentivises a push by local authorities to crackdown on those who don’t clean up their dog’s mess.”

Our colleagues at Noteworthy want to find out what is being done to tackle dog faeces littering our streets and parks. Support this project here.

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