JUST seven fines have been issued for dog fouling by the council in the last two years.
The information was revealed at a Health and Community committee meeting in response to a question from DUP councillor Maurice Devenney.
Cllr Devenney had requested the figures for the last five years, but only information on the last two years was available.
Seamus Donaghy, head of the Health and Community Well-being explained that a full report is due to go before the council at their July meeting.
However he had details of fines issued in the last two years. He explained that in 2018/19 five fixed penalty notices had been issued for dog fouling, with a further 38 for dog straying. He indicated that there is a consensus that a stray dog would inevitably lead to dog fouling.
For the year 2019/20 there were two fixed penalty notices issued for dog fouling and 27 for stray dogs.
Responding to the figures Cllr Devenney said he was disappointed. “This is a serious matter and it has been going on for a long time. At the minute it looks like what we are doing is not working – whether that is dog wardens, signage, or information in the media.
“We need to be seriously looking at this as a council,” he added.
Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue asked for clarity about how many council officers were authorised to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling. She was told there are currently eight to nine members of staff permitted to do this.
However Mr Donaghy said council are proposing to allow additional staff to serve fixed penalties and are developing an app which would allow walkers to record all dog control patrols to investigate dog fouling complaints.