Sinn Féin councillor Thérèse Ruane sought the support of her fellow councillors at this week's council meeting when she called for a public awareness campaign to tackle dog fouling in public places in Castlebar.
Cllr. Ruane stated: “Dog fouling is unsightly, unpleasant and downright unhealthy to the public. It's time for action on this issue. The problem is getting worse. I have been inundated with calls from people reporting dog fouling in public places, in housing estates, on footpaths, in the graveyard, in front of local businesses but in particular in recent weeks at Lough Lannagh. I am urging dog owners to act responsibly and do all within their power to ensure that their pets are not fouling in public places. Canines commonly carry a parasite worm called toxacara whose eggs are passed out with the faeces into the soil and this can have serious consequences for young children and pregnant mothers.
“I'm calling for a public awareness campaign to tackle this issue and a designated dog fouling week where the local authority staff, gardaí, Tidy Town groups, community and school groups come together to raise awareness, promote responsible dog ownership and highlight the health and safety risks associated with dog fouling. I have raised the issue of dog fouling in the council on a number of occasions but it's time for action now.
“Members of the public have also voiced their serious concern about dogs running loose at Lough Lannagh, the graveyard, and at the town park. Dogs must be on a leash in public places and nobody should be subjected to fear and threat from dogs running loose at Lough Lannagh or anywhere else in the town. The council must bring in a bye law immediately to deal with this issue.
“I myself am a dog lover and the majority of people are responsible dog owners who keep their pet on a leash and don't allow their dog to foul in public places. I am appealing to all dog owners to act responsibly so that everyone can enjoy the wonderful amenity that Lough Lannagh is, the town park and all public amenities in the town. It's in everyone's best interest.”