Dog control orders - Your questions answered

Exercising your dog

Q
Where can I exercise my dog off lead?
Answer

You can exercise your dog off lead in public open spaces provided the area of land is not designated as a dog exclusion area or a dog on lead area. However, if your dog is behaving badly or causing a nuisance then a Council Officer can require you to put your dog on a lead.

Q
Where do I have to keep my dog on a lead?
Answer

On roads, pavements and verges, unfenced children's play areas, school grounds, public car parks, allotments, and religious grounds (burial grounds, cemeteries, mosques etc.). You must also do so if a Council Officer requires you to.

Q
I've heard that I can't walk my dog on an extendable lead - is this true?
Answer

No, not really. You can walk your dog on an extendable lead, but only if you don't allow it to extend beyond 6 feet six inches (almost 2 metres). No lead must be longer than this.

Q
Can I take my dog into a dog exclusion area?
Answer

Clearly not, unless you are registered as a blind person or are someone who has a disability for which you rely on assistance of a dog trained by a specified charity, such as Canine Partners for Independence , Dogs for good  or Support Dogs .

Working Police dogs can also enter exclusion areas with their handler.

If you are not registered blind and have an assistance dog, you can't take your dog into exclusion areas, such as fenced children's play areas, some tennis courts, bowling greens, skate parks and a limited number of specific named sites which have fenced or unfenced sports pitches.

For further information visit Calderdale maps online: Dog control orders . Council Officers will also be happy to answer any questions you may have if they are on site. It is also very likely that other dog walkers in the area will be able to help you as well.

Dog fouling

Q
What is the difference between the old and the new legislation about dog fouling?
Answer

The main change is that the new PDFThe fouling of land by dogs (Calderdale) order 2012 [PDF 90KB] applies to more areas of land than the old Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996. Additionally, it also becomes an offence to fail to provide details or to provide false details to an Officer. Furthermore, introducing this Order has allowed the Council to introduce a mechanism for offenders to pay discounted fixed penalties in accordance with the Council’s PDFFixed penalty enforcement strategy [PDF 346KB] and the other Dog Control Orders. The fixed penalty charge has increased from £50 to £80, but if paid within 10 days drops to £50.

Q
How am I supposed to dispose of my dog’s poo if there are no dog waste bins nearby?
Answer

You must bag it, and then either place it into the nearest street litter bin, or take it home with you and dispose of it in your grey wheelie bin or black sack. If you do not like the idea of carrying a bag of smelly poo around with you, there are a number of products on the market which you can buy which will seal the bagged poo in. These stop it from leaking or smelling, until you get home or find a street litter or dog waste bin.

Q
Are there any exemptions in relation to dog fouling?
Answer

Yes. The offence of failing to remove dog faeces does not apply to a person who is registered blind, or who has a disability in respect of which they rely on the assistance of a dog trained by a specified charity such as Canine Partners for Independence , Dogs for good , or Support Dogs .

Signage, maps and bins

Q
Will there be any signs telling me about the Orders?
Answer

Yes. Signs will be erected on the majority of designated sites which are covered by the Orders. The Council will also erect signs where there is specific evidence to suggest that there are dog control issues in that area. We will prioritise those areas based on our history of specific problems. For example, in relation to dog fouling, we will start by erecting signs on worse fouled sites first.

Q
If there isn’t a sign does it mean the Dog Control Orders don’t apply?
Answer

No, the Council only has to provide signs where practicable. The legislation and guidance recognises that it is not feasible to erect signs on every piece of land to which the Orders apply. The Dogs on Leads Order, Dogs on Leads by Direction Order and the Fouling of Land by Dogs Orders apply to a very high number of streets, car parks and public open spaces for example, and it would be unreasonable to expect the Council to erect a sign in every area.

Q
What sort of signs will be erected?
Answer

On sites that are frequently used by dog walkers such as parks and recreation grounds, for example, large signs will be erected at conspicuous points. The signs list which Orders apply to the site, and include a map showing where the respective Orders apply. Initially, temporary signs mounted on a yellow board have been erected in every park and recreation ground prior to more permanent signs being erected. In other general areas such as on pavements adjacent roads, and children’s play areas (fenced and unfenced) for example, smaller permanent signs will be erected outlining which Orders apply.

Q
Some areas on the online maps or the maps on the signs in the park or recreation ground are not coloured in green, orange, or red, does this mean that there are no restrictions in these areas?
Answer

No. The Council's priority is to identify the areas where dogs are excluded or must be kept on a lead in the parks, recreation grounds and around the play areas, as these areas are the ones where people can fall foul (sic) of the legislation! The physical on-site maps for each park and recreation ground only map the site itself, and not the surrounding area. All roads and pavements which surround a park or recreation ground, for example, are areas where dogs must be kept on a lead. Finally, please note that any outdoor area that is white on a map may likely be covered by the Fouling of Land by Dogs Order, or the Dogs on Leads by Direction Order.

Q
Will any more bins be provided?
Answer

Yes. The Council will be providing a limited number of new bins in some areas, particularly where there are currently no bins. We will also be reviewing bin provision in areas which are badly fouled.

Penalties

Q
What could happen to me if I commit an offence under one of the orders?
Answer

The penalty in relation to an offence in any Dog Control Order is, on summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000).

Alternatively, a person may be offered the opportunity to discharge any liability to conviction for any offence under any Dog Control Order by payment of a fixed penalty.

The specified amount of the fixed penalty will be £80, reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.

For persons aged under 18, there can be an opportunity to make amends by undertaking work with the Youth Offending Team. This can mean the juvenile will not have to pay the fixed penalty.

Q
Will you withdraw a Fixed Penalty Notice, or not prosecute me, if I did not see the sign or did not know I was in an area covered by a Dog Control Order?
Answer

No. Ignorance is no defence in law.

For a list of sites where the respective orders apply, see: Dog Control Orders .

Signs and maps are provided for larger open spaces and smaller signs will be displayed in other areas.

General

Q
What process did the Council adopt when introducing the Dog Control Orders?
Answer

The Dog control orders (procedure) regulations 2006 made under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 set out the procedures to be followed.

Main actions undertaken in relation to the introduction of Dog Control Orders within Calderdale

 

Date Action
19th September 2011 Cabinet approved a consultation to be undertaken in relation to proposals to introduce five Dog Control Orders.
14th October 2011 Notices of intention to introduce five Dog Control Orders was published in the Halifax Courier.
3rd October to 11th November 2011 Consultation with members of the public and other interested parties was undertaken.
9th November 2011 The Council’s Economy and Environment Scrutiny panel considered proposals.
12th March 2012 Cabinet approved the introduction of the five Dog Control Orders. The original proposals were amended in light of the results of the consultation exercise.
15th August 2012 The five Dog Control Orders were made (signed by the Head of Democratic and Partnership Services).
23rd and 24th August 2012 PDFDog control orders public notice [PDF 34KB] was published in the Brighouse Echo, Halifax Courier, Hebden Bridge Times and the Todmorden News. This detailed the date the Dog Control Orders came into force.
3rd September 2012 The five Dog Control Orders to came into force.
Q
Are there any defences to the Dog Control Orders?
Answer

Yes, there are two defences, which are:

  • having a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with an Order; and
  • acting with the consent of the owner, occupier, or other person having control of the land.

For dog fouling, being unaware a dog has fouled, or not having the means of removing faeces, are not reasonable excuses.

Q
How will I know if I am in an area which is covered by a Dog Control Order?
Answer

Where practical, signs are displayed on designated areas of land where dogs are regularly walked, like parks and recreation grounds.

Signs are also displayed on roadsides, in areas where dogs are excluded and where dogs need to be kept on leads.

It is not practical to display signs on all areas of land covered by the Dog Control Orders.

See: Dog Control Orders .

Q
Are there any areas that are exempt from the Dog Control Orders?
Answer

Yes.

There are no restrictions on Forestry Commission land.

Dogs cannot be excluded from carriageways (roads), footways (pavements) and Rights of Way.

Q
I know an area of land, near where I live, which is not mentioned in the orders, or it is included, but should not be, can this be changed?
Answer

This may be possible.

The Council will require evidence to justify the introduction, or removal, of the order(s) to the area.

Orders are reviewed periodically and suggestions you make are considered in the reviews.

If you think an order should be reviewed, phone: 01422 288001.

Q
I still don't understand how the orders affect me, even after reading all of this information, who can I speak to?
Answer

Contact