Council is ‘best performing’ over unwanted dogs

The Carrickfergus Borough Council area remains one of the best performing local authorities in terms of its low rate of humane destructions of unwanted dogs.

The figure was outlined to council members at Monday night’s meeting of the Environmental Services Committee as part of the Dog Summary Statistics report for 2013.

Although 48 incidents were investigated in that year, no destruction orders were given and 46 cases were resolved without further action. The local authority pointed to efforts made by staff and by its kennel provider to re-home animals and transfer ‘hard-to-home’ dogs to charitable organisations.

The report also covers the number of dog licences issued, as well as figures on straying, unwanted animals, fixed penalties and prosecutions.

“The number of fixed penalties remains lower than in neighbouring councils. Officers meet with colleagues from other local authorities on a regular basis to share their knowledge and find out new approaches to addressing problems such as straying and dog fouling,” the report noted.

Three prosecutions were recorded in 2013, two of which were for no licence and one for straying.

Earlier this year, the council approved a policy which would see the use of body-worn cameras to aid the gathering information on litter and dog fouling offences by enforcement officers.