Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, with Joe Gray and his poodle Luna, taking part in a walkabout along the quay. Photo by Martin McKeown.
From today, it is illegal for pet owners not to have their dogs on a lead in some of the most popular parts of Derry.
New dog control legislation comes into effect today in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
It means that dogs must be kept on a lead in a large number of public areas.
These include the riverside walkway in Derry, from the pathway at Boom Hall right to the end of the pathway 'out the line' at Nixon's Corner.
This will include the walkways in the city centre and the Peace Bridge and Craigavon Bridge.
Walkways in the Waterside alongside St Columb's Park and at Prehen will also be covered by the new legislation.
Dogs will also have to be kept on a lead in a large number of other areas, including local parks and cemeteries and all children's playing areas, whether fenced or not.
Anyone who does not have their dog on a lead will be fined £80.
The new legislation is the latest stage in the local council's battle against the problem of dog-fouling.
The council has also launched a new 'Why would ye?' campaign which seeks to halt a recent spike in litter levels, particularly on walkways, following a rise in footfall during the restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid 19.
It aims to make people think before discarding their litter on the street or letting their dog foul in shared spaces.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic we've seen a huge spike in the number of people using our outdoor spaces for recreation and exercise," said Brian Tierney, Mayor of the local council.
"While it is great to see people reaping the health and well being benefits that brings this has also led to a rise in litter levels with various materials, including face masks and gloves, becoming commonplace on our streets.
"There has also been an increase in dog fouling during the period alongside an increase in dog ownership.
"The vast majority of people dispose of their waste appropriately but I want to appeal to everyone to show some respect and pride in our beautiful home place by using the bins provided.
"Litter creates unnecessary costs and is a blight on our landscape so why would you do it?"
“I want to thank the Department for Communities for the funding of almost £50,000 to deliver this initiative and provide the practical support our city centre needs at this time.”
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