Dog control orders will protect public
20 September 2011
Calderdale Council is to consult people on proposed new dog control orders to promote responsible dog ownership.
Under the proposed regulations, dogs, but not assistance dogs, would be excluded from areas where there are people playing sports on marked pitches, and from children's play areas.
The new powers would include five new orders to:
- Require dog owners to remove dog faeces from all land, except moorland, woodland, and Forestry Commission land;
- Exclude dogs from 120 sports pitches and playing fields, 30 ornamental gardens and over 120 play areas, 19 bowling greens and 33 tennis courts;
- Require dog walkers to put their dogs on leads at all times in the council's 36 allotments, seven cemeteries and one crematorium and perhaps alongside highways with a speed limit of over 40mph;
- Empower officers from the Council to order owners to put their dogs on a lead in parks, nature reserves, canal towpaths, and on all moorland and agricultural land;
- Require dog walkers to not walk more than six dogs in nature reserves, parks and recreation grounds.
Owners would be required to put their dogs on a lead only if:
- A dog is behaving in an unsuitable manner
- The dog is not under control.
Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said Cabinet acknowledged that the majority of dog owners were caring and responsible, keeping their dogs under control and clearing up after them.
"The proposals do not include banning dogs from parks, nor will dogs be required to be on a lead at all times in parks.
"Dog walkers need to be able to exercise their dogs in public places. But we have to balance that against the health risks to members of the public, particularly children, who could come into contact with dog faeces.
"There is also a need to protect the health of colleagues who cut the grass / tend the bedding plants etc. within these areas by preventing or limiting their contact with dog excrement."
He said the proposals were designed to update and clarify a range of old legislation and powers some of them dating back to 1875.
"The Council is keen to listen to all views before making any decisions, particularly on how best to balance the exercising of dogs with keeping sports pitches free of fouling.
"Under the new orders, dog owners will still be able to exercise dogs off the lead in parks, although they will be excluded from children's play areas."
The Council intends to undertake a public consultation on the proposed orders between Monday 3rd October and Friday 4th November 2011. A summary of proposals is available on the Councils website.
The Council is keen to hear both dog owner / walkers' and non-dog owner / walkers' views and will take all suggestions into consideration. The consultation may therefore cause the Council to amend the proposals.