People from the Castleisland area have been in contact with the environmental department of Kerry County Council to complain about the issue of dog litter on the River Walk.
They have also highlighted the problem in and around Castleisland and even on Main Street itself.
“The dog population in Kerry is estimated at 20,000, producing around eight tonnes of excrement a day, which is just under 3,000 tonnes of dog litter each year,” that staggering statistic was provided by Mícheál Ó Coileáin, head of Kerry County Council’s Environmental Services Section.
“Dog fouling is a major concern to many people. The majority of the population is worried about the amount of dog fouling, not just because of the mess it causes but because it can also be linked to health risks including ‘Toxocara canis’,” Mícheál explained.
“Roundworm eggs are found in dog mess, which can easily be picked up by young children. This causes stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and, in rare cases, blindness. The eggs can remain active in the soil for many years, long after the dog mess has weathered away.
“Toxocara canis most commonly affects children between 18 months and five years. Dog fouling is a major issue for many of our towns in Kerry, particularly on popular walking routes by rivers or along the coast.
“Unfortunately Castleisland is no exception. It is the most offensive type of litter on our streets and it is consistently raised as a public concern. People bring it into their homes on their shoes, on pram wheels, wheelchairs, toys, footballs etc. You know you have a real clean up job to do when you get that all too familiar smell indoors and the shout goes up ‘ OK, everyone check your shoes.’
Fail to Clean-Up
“Some dog owners still fail to clean up after their dogs and the highest level of dog fouling is not in rural parts of Kerry but in the urban centres where the concentration of population is highest. In Castleisland it is a problem on the otherwise impressive River Walk and on the footpaths throughout the town.
“Under our Litter Act 1997, it is the responsibility of the dog owner or the person in charge of the dog to clear up any dog foul left by their dog.
“If you fail to clean up after your dog you can be issued with an on the spot fine of €150 or even more if the case goes to court.
“The regulations state specifically, that being unaware that the dog has fouled, or not having a suitable means of removing the faeces is not a reasonable excuse for failing to clean up after your dog.
Well, more and more dog owners are feeling the force of a €150 fine for not cleaning up after their dog. Litter Wardens will be active in Castleisland in the coming weeks. For dog owners, the simple message is ‘Any Bag –Any Bin’ so no excuses, just clean up the mess your dog leaves in public places and keep Castleisland clean,” said Mr. Ó Coileáin