1000% increase in dog fouling fines proposed under new legislation
A 1000% increase in dog fouling fines has been proposed as part of a bill introduced in the Dáil.
Green Party Justice Spokesperson Patrick Costello launched the new legislation on Thursday (23 June) which is designed to "dramatically" raise the fine for dog fouling from €150 to €1500.
The proposed bill would amend the Litter Pollution Act 1997 and aims to provide cleaner streets by increasing the deterrent for those "failing to scoop the poop".
"Figures recently released [about dog fouling] by Dublin City Council (DCC) show there has been effectively no enforcement in the Dublin City area since 2019 with one fine issued in the last three and a half years," a statement from Costello reads.
"The most fines issued by DCC in recent years was 78 in 2016 which equates to revenue of €11,700 under the current legislation."
The statement highlights that the fines for dog fouling are not a revenue-raising measure and instead exist "to deter harmful behaviours".
However, it adds that if the bill is adopted, those previous peak levels of enforcement would deliver €117,000 in fines and that these could be "reinvested as seed funding for new poo prevention initiatives".
Speaking ahead of introducing the Litter Pollution Amendment Bill (2022) in the Dáil, Costello said the issue is one that has "blighted communities across the country for many years".
"Since I entered politics in 2014, dog poo has been the single most repeated complaint to me when speaking to constituents," he added.
"It’s on their streets, in their parks and on the footpaths outside their local businesses.
“Based on the lived experience of my constituents and people across the country, a cohort of dog owners are not deterred by the current fine for failing to scoop the poop.
"Not only is it gross but leaving dog poo on our streets and in our parks is a risk to human health, particularly for small children.
"Dog poo can contain harmful bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like roundworm."
“This bill is very simple, if enacted it increases the deterrent and incentivises a push by local authorities to crackdown on those who don’t clean up their dog’s mess.”