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Newry Council could follow ABC lead by banning dogs from playing fields

Hard-hitting pictorial brand part of new 'get tough' strategy

Tougher measures aimed at reducing dog fouling across Newry, Mourne and Down could be on the cards.

The district council is launching a new pictorial ‘brand’ which will be rolled out across the region.

It would be an immediate move.

But a ban on dogs from ALL playing fields could be explored within months if given the backing of councillors.

Proposals are due to go before Wednesday’s meeting of the council’s regulatory and technical services committee.

The new hard-hitting pictorial shows a child about to kick a football with dog mess in front of it and the slogan: “Pick up the poo before they do!”

And it warns owners they could faced an £80 fine if they do not clean up after their pets, something which is “criminal”.

An immediate move would see stickers placed on bins right across the NMD Council area.

Any current dog fouling signage will be replaced with the new pictorial, described as a “sharp approach” design to address the findings of a street cleansing survey and councillor concerns.

The second phase would be more striking and is earmarked to be carried out within three months.

During this time, consideration could be given to a number of possibilities.

It has been suggested these could include orders to extend ‘dogs on leads’ orders to cover all grassed areas.

Council is also expected to consider banning dogs from all playing fields and reviewing its bye-laws.

A ‘joined-up’ approach would be employed between council departments and other areas to be looked at include legal considerations and enforcement, and advertising and outreach.

On Wednesday, the committee will be asked to approve the brand pictorial to be used in all literature, publicity and signage associated with the campaign.

It will also be asked to give approval to engage with the other council directorates to agree a confirmed dog fouling strategy for recommendation to the council.

It is this which could see existing bye-laws examined and further deterrents and actions being brought forward.

The target for completing this strategy is the end of December this year.

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