Control orders on the increase
WITH THE proliferation of dog control orders being issued for consultation across the country, the Kennel Club is urging dog owners to come together and fight against any such restrictions being placed on the freedom of dogs within local authority areas.
The KC says that now is the ideal time to join KC Dog. It is very important that dog owners keep checking their local newspapers and their local authority's website to see what is happening in their area.
KC Dog is free to join, and not only keeps its members up to date about dog control orders being introduced or issued for consultation, but also assists members who want to influence or amend dog control orders. KC Dog is aware of 60 councils which have, or are consulting on, dog control orders at present - but with several hundred councils in the UK, the whole dog owning population has the potential to be affected.
A spokesperson for KC dog commented: ‘It is important that councils only introduce dog control orders if they are necessary and proportionate responses to the problems that they experience. If local authorities do introduce dog control orders, they must be prepared to answer specific questions raised by dog owners, including KC Dog members, to justify them. Otherwise they could face a legal challenge to the orders, as nearly happened in Kensington and Chelsea.
‘After a considerable backlash by KC Dog members and the media, Kensington and Chelsea has re-opened its consultation on the proposed order to restrict the number of dogs a person may walk. Initially their dog control order was to limit this to just two dogs per person, but the residents of Kensington and Chelsea and KC Dog challenged this. The orders had originally gone through because of the poor consultation process.
‘However, once again Kensington and Chelsea has failed to consult widely enough – there is no information regarding the proposals on their website and it is doubtful that there was any information displayed prominently in local newspapers either, given that no press release was issued. Apparently the consultation documents were only sent to those that responded to the initial consultation, not the local community as a whole. This means that Kensington and Chelsea’s new orders could be challenged again, since their consultation process would not have complied with DEFRA guidelines.’
To join KC Dog, or for further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020-7518 1020