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Essential to address problem of dog fouling – Keady Councillor

4 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Armagh City and District Councillor Darren McNally has said that it is essential to address the growing problem of dog fouling in the area. The Councillor was speaking after being approached by residents in the Keady area.

Pointing out that the issue was not unique to the Keady locality, Daren said:

"The mess caused by dog fouling is dirty, smelly and unpleasant, and creates a significant health hazard, especially to children, and brings irresponsible dog owners into conflict with other users of public places. Dog faeces can contain campylobacter, salmonella and other pathogenic organisms which contaminate wounds or broken skin. The most serious health risks are toxocarisis and hydatid.

  • Toxocarisis is a disease caused by the eggs of the roundworm toxocara. This is of particular risk to children where infection can lead to loss of sight.
  • Hydatid is also caused by a parasitic worm of dogs and is prevalent in sheep farming areas. This disease can be transmitted to humans through dog waste with serious consequences to health.

"It is essential that we work to change public attitudes towards dog fouling and establish a zero tolerance in people's minds. It is hoped that a shift in attitude would encourage more dog owners to pick up after their pets.

"The Council and our Environmental Health Department have a key role in highlighting the dangers of not clearing up dog mess. Dog Waste Bins, information signs, leaflets and access to such utensils as the 'Poop-Scoop', will all help highlight the responsibilities that dog owners must accept this as part of dog ownership and to make them aware of the potential health hazards and the legal consequences to themselves.

Concluding the Crossmore area Councillo added:

"We do not want to see dogs or their owners penalised but measures need to be taken to help promote responsible dog ownership by raising awareness of the nuisance and health risks created by dog fouling." ENDS

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