Northern Ireland

Dog fouling in NI at record low rate, charity finds

Dogs Image copyright Getty Images

Dog fouling is at its lowest rate since records began almost a decade ago, an environmental charity report has found.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful found 6% of sites surveyed had a problem last year, compared to 12% the previous year.

The worst-affected area was the council area of Mid and East Antrim, while Fermanagh had the lowest incidence.

Across Northern Ireland, 15% of streets failed to meet the accepted standard for litter - up 3% from previous year.

Belfast City Council has the worst litter record, while Mid Ulster, Newry and Mourne and Antrim & Newtownabbey also had relatively high levels.

Image caption Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful found 6% of sites surveyed had a problem last year

And while Mid and East Antrim has a problem with dog fouling, it has one of the best records for litter.

In its survey, which first began in 2008, the charity found that 2016-17 had seen a record £43m spent on cleaning the streets.

'Mind-set'

The past year also brought the highest percentage of spaces - 5% - with no litter, not even a single cigarette butt.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful chief executive, Dr Ian Humphreys, said: "With over a third of the public admitting to littering we still have some way to go and so if we want a better place to live we all have to do our bit and get involved."

He said the statistics showed that having a bin in sight in an area made no difference to how much litter ended up on the ground.

"This suggests that for many people bins are either deemed irrelevant or invisible," he added.

"We need to change people's mind-set so that they look for and use a bin, or take their rubbish home."

More on this story