Afraid to cry foul?

 

A chara, – Thank you Diarmaid Ferriter for your excellent article on dog fouling (Opinion & Analysis, December 7th).

As a dog owner I think the attitude to dog fouling here is lamentable on an individual and State level.

It reflects a number of problems in our society such as the lack of peer pressure. No one would dream of challenging family, friends or neighbours let alone strangers on this or other issues such as littering and dumping.

There is a lack of social responsibility in that the objective with everything is to “get away with it” whether it’s dog fouling, micro chipping or buying a dog licence as we know it is unlikely it will be followed up if so, why bother?

It is seen as acceptable to have a dog off the lead in urban parks and even in areas of outstanding natural beauty where there are signs to the contrary. These are ignored and the rules rarely if ever enforced.

Equally it is not easy to do the right thing in Ireland.

Bins are few and far between and bags are rarely available unlike other countries, so if you make a genuine error and forget (to bring a bag) there is no solution.

Even if one is prepared to challenge others, you take your life in your hands as however politely you do it, the response is indifference or can be threatening.

Even the offer of a bag or a request to put a large dangerous or boisterous dog on a lead will be met with an insult or a threat – believe me I’ve tried!

We need to be prepared to be held to account and hold each other to account, to ask our authorities to provide adequate bins in public spaces, make the licence relevant and dog identifiable as first steps to improving the situation.

Go to Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and even the UK where people will challenge dog owners and dog poo bags and bins are provided and one would not dare own a dog without a licence. – Is mise,

NICK COVENEY,

Mallow,

Co Cork.