If you're strolling through the elegant streets of Bundoran or indeed any town in Donegal, you may notice there's an awful lot of dog poo appearing on streets and walkways.
Indeed despite constant reminders, dog fouling appears to be an increasing problem.
Dog owners know it is their responsibility to pick up after their dogs in public areas around the town but how many do?
In Bundoran for example poo bags are available in dispensers around the Roguey and West End walks and also free of charge at Bundoran Tourist Office on the bridge.
It adds up.
One pile of pet waste might not seem like a lot; however, thousands of dogs live in Donegal, generating large amounts of waste throughout the county every day.
"Dog foul is unhygienic and creates a bad impression for visitors to the town. Dog foul bags can only be disposed of in specific dog poo bins. It should also be noted that dog foul can be put into any plastic bag – they do not have to be specific dog poo bags," said one concerned resident.
Dog poo is a problem we deal with on a daily basis. The main reason for dog fouling laws is because dog poo is unhygienic and a health hazard. Dog fouling is unsightly, unpleasant and can lead to toxocariasis in humans.
Here are the dangerous facts:
1. Dog poo is not good fertilizer. It's toxic to your lawn! The high nutrient concentration in dog poo will burn and discolour the grass, creating ‘hot
2. For many years pet waste has been classified as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil.
3. You may not live near water, but unscooped poo from your area is carried by overland water flow or is washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers and
4. Dog poo can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella. When infected it comes into contact with your lawn, the poo will eventually "disappear", but the parasite eggs can linger for years! When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs ... even years after the poo is gone. 5. Pet waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhoea in humans. There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!
5. Dog poo often contains roundworm larvae, which cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. So when people (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog poo and then touch their mouths, they can become infected.
6. Dog poo doesn't just ‘wash away’ or disappear. So if you're not disposing of your dog's waste, you're putting yourself, your family, your dog and your water supply at risk.
Dog owners or handlers who do not dispose of dog waste in a responsible way could receive an on the spot fine of €150 and failure to pay this fine can lead to prosecution in the District Court with a maximum fine of €3,000.
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