Dog fouling is a scourge across the county
Kilkenny’s dog warden may be brought in to help tackle the scourge of dog fouling, following a proposal from one local councillor last week.
“Dog excrement is an absolutely unbelievable issue,” Cllr Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere told a meeting of the Kilkenny City Municipal District.
“Obviously it’s quite difficult to catch a dog in the act. We have a dog warden — can the warden take dogs on the loose that aren’t chipped?
“The majority of people have taken responsibility, but there are incidents where dogs are running around, they’re not chipped, and they should be taken away.”
Cllr Matt Doran agreed that dog fouling was a big issue.
“It’s a problem in every town - we get calls every day on it,” he said.
Figures previously published by the Kilkenny People show there were no fines issued for dog fouling here in 2016.
Referring to the council’s new Draft Litter Management Plan 2018-2020, environmental awareness officer Bernadette Moloney agreed dog fouling was a cause for concern. One of the 37 'actions' in the council's Draft Litter Management Plan is a review of the use of anti-littering stencils and a community pilot project permitting selected groups to administer stencils in their own area as part of an anti-dog fouling campaign.
“The dog warden doesn’t get much mention in the current draft — maybe we can look at that," said Ms Moloney.
"Loose dogs are a problem. It’s one thing when you have the owner… we might include that in the draft plan.
Cllr Patrick McKee was not so sure.
“The idea of dog wardens going around lifting dogs for doing something as natural as going to the toilet…” he said.
“The dogs aren’t responsible, it’s the owners.”
Cllr Sean Tyrrell said he was not convinced on the merits of the stencils.
"Frankly, I think it's a waste of money," he said.
"I can't see them being effective."
Ms Moloney acknowledged that the stencils were 'not everyone's cup of tea', but that the purpose was to get a conversation started and get people talking about it. A previous scheme - the talking lamposts - enjoyed some success in combating dog fouling.
The public consultation on the Draft Litter Management Plan is open for submissions here until February 2.