Westminster faces dog control orders
Dogs on leads lands in Parliament’s ‘back yard’
The debate over dog control orders has come home to Westminster. Passed into law by Parliament in 2005, the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act allows local councils to introduce dog control orders limiting access of dog walkers on specified areas of land. Those local orders are now being consulted on by the Palace of Westminster’s own council. The consultation ends on 2nd May.
Since the Act was introduced, the Kennel Club’s dog owners’ group, KC Dog, has responded to consultations around the country, from Northumberland to Brighton, Plymouth to Norwich, trying to ensure that responsible dog owners are not penalised when councils try to target irresponsible owners. Now KC Dog’s efforts are focused literally just down the road.
The council plans to pilot a ‘dogs on leads’ control order in Queens Park Ward and the Churchill Gardens Estate, in response to a reported dog fouling problem. The order would mean all dogs would have to be walked on a lead in these areas.
In response to the proposed order, Caroline Kisko, speaking on behalf of the Kennel Club, said: ‘Clearly, walking a dog on a lead does not provide as much exercise for a dog as being allowed to run free. In such an urban area, every green space is very precious to dog owners; to force dogs to be on leads could affect the animals’ welfare by restricting owners’ ability to provide them with enough exercise.
“KC Dog appreciates that the Council may have a problem with dog fouling, but responsible owners clear up after their dog anyway, and a ‘dogs on leads’ order will do nothing to prevent irresponsible owners from leaving dog mess on pavements. A ‘Dogs Fouling of Land’ order is just as easy to enforce as a ‘Dogs on Leads’ order, and targets only the irresponsible owners. We will be responding to the Council’s consultation fully, and urge our dog owning neighbours in the City of Westminster to do the same.
To respond to the council’s proposed dog control orders, please email email@example.com or write to: CivicWatch - Dog Control Orders, Community Protection, Westminster City Council, 5th Floor West, Westminster City Hall. 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP. Information on the proposed orders can be found at http://www.westminster.gov.uk/policingandpublicsafety/crimeandlawenforcement/civicwatch/dogcontrolorders.cfm
Northampton begins consultation
KC Dog, also asks that responsible dog owners in Northampton send in their responses to Northampton Borough Council as it is currently consulting on potential dog control orders in the area. The consultation stage is the most effective time for responsible owners to make their voice heard.
The council’s consultation ends on 16th May, and is considering the following:
1 Dog exclusion – dogs would be excluded from children’s play areas, multi-use sports areas, tennis courts, bowling greens, skate board sites and basket ball pitches.
2 Dogs on leads – dogs would have to be kept on leads in all cemeteries, Abington Upper Park and Delapre Abbey walled garden.
3 Number of dogs limit – it would be permitted to walk no more than 6 dogs at any one time.
4 Dogs on leads by direction – dogs would have to be put on a lead when an owner is directed to do so by an authorised officer.
The council has already introduced a dog fouling dog control order, which stipulates that all owners must clear up after their dog has fouled.
Caroline Kisko, said, ‘Northampton’s regulations are in line with DEFRA guidelines and make the important distinction between responsible and irresponsible dog owners.
These orders should be effective at targeting irresponsible owners whilst letting responsible owners exercise their dogs unhindered. After a spate of draconian orders across the country, KC Dog welcomes Northampton’s balanced proposals, and we recommend that all responsible dog walkers respond with their opinions regarding these orders.’
For more information please visit http://www.northampton.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=545 and for more information about KC Dog please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7518 1020.