A Lisburn councillor has called for the Stormont Executive “to draw up hard hitting laws which protect the community from dog walkers who allow their dogs to leave messes on pavements and walkways throughout the constituency”.
The call comes from Councillor Robbie Butler who is also a prospective Ulster Unionist Party Lagan Valley Assembly candidate.
Councillor Butler said: “The issue of dog mess is clear for all to see and smell as myself and our UUP canvassing teams tour the various areas of the Lagan Valley constituency.
“It is one issue which is being raised time and again as we chat to constituents.
“While there are many responsible dog owners who use poop scoops and bags when their dogs leave a mess, unfortunately, there is a section of the dog walking community which ignores the mess which their dogs leave and this is creating a serious health hazard for children and adults.
“Not only are there health dangers from dog mess, but it also leaves the area looking very untidy.
“Warning signs about financial penalties for those irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up the mess are not enough.
“The Stormont Executive – and especially the Justice Minister – need to join forces and introduce tougher laws to combat the irresponsible minority and literally leave our pavements in a total mess.
“These new laws could include much bigger financial penalties than currently exist and even jail terms for persistent offenders,” said Councillor Butler.
The Star has highlighted numerous complaints on the dog-fouling issue over recent weeks.