Dog fouling spoiling Loughshore walkway

Mid Ulster District Council is calling foul on irresponsible dog owners using the Washingbay Walkway and Running Trail, after a recent rise in incidents of dog foul being left on the ground at the popular amenity site.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 3:38 pm

To address the issue, the Council has employed additional staff resources on the ground to reinforce the message, gather information where possible to pursue fixed penalties up to a maximum of £80, and issue disposable bags to dog walkers.

Council Chair, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan in supporting the call said, “While we acknowledge that the vast majority of dog owners do pick up after their dogs, a small minority are ruining the pathways for everyone else by leaving their dog’s mess behind. There’s also a serious health risk, particularly for children, many of who use this and other walkways and trails with their families during current restrictions to exercise and enjoy the fresh air. We want to encourage all dog owners to be responsible for their own dog’s mess, leaving behind nothing but paw prints when they visit this and other Council owned walking areas.”

The move by the Council to increase staff engagement was welcomed by the local community. Jack Corr, the chairman of Muintir na Móinteach, the local community group who were instrumental in partnership with the Council and Derrylaughan GAC in providing this much appreciated facility for locals and visitors, welcomes that the council is taking steps to eradicate the problem of dog fouling.

Washingbay walkway.

He stated that “It is disappointing to see that a small number of people show utter disregard for the health and safety of other users of the walkway by their carelessness. We hope that the proposed council actions can encourage this minority to begin to show a sense of social responsibility towards their neighbour.”

Phillip McCourt, Chairperson of Derrylaughan Kevin Barry’s GAC said that “The walkway at the Washingbay has been extremely successful in allowing people to exercise safely all through the restrictions from last year and it is great to see so many people out walking and running in this safe environment. There are, however, a number of irresponsible dog owners who simply do not pick up the waste. As a club with many children playing games and using the facility, we would have no other choice but to request a ban on dogs from using the walkway if this continues.”

Dog fouling can be reported online via the ‘Report It’ section of the ‘Binovation App’, or at [email protected] Alternatively, Council Enforcement Officers can be contacted via telephone at Tel: 03000 132 132.

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