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Control Orders may contravene Welfare Act

Dog Control orders which Rugby Borough Council are planning to introduce are believed to contravene the Animal Welfare Act. The council, who have been unwilling to communicate with the Kennel Club regarding these proposals, are planning to bring in four tough new control orders, which include requirements for all dogs to be kept on leads at all times.

Some designated areas make sense and any responsible dog owner will probably be keeping their dogs on leads anyway, for example keeping a dog on a lead when on all public roads, verges, footpaths and pavements in Rugby. As dog owners are aware it only takes a moment for a dog to get distracted when walking by a road for it to run into traffic and cause an accident. Walking a dog in a pedestrianised area, allotments or cemeteries off lead may lead to it fouling an area which non-dog owners might find offensive, and again most responsible dog owners will be very aware of this.

However, under Control Order two, the Council does propose to ban dogs from five recreation grounds, which are used by a number of dog walkers to allow their pets to run free. The recreation grounds named are Assheton recreation ground, Bilton, Caldecott Park, Featherbed Lane recreation ground, Hillmorton, Winfield recreation ground and Whitehall recreation ground.

Not realistic

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: ‘Basic animal welfare includes properly exercising your dog. The proposal to ban dogs from being off leads would mean that dogs would not be properly exercised and is therefore not a realistic solution.

‘We believe that dog control orders proposed by Rugby are disproportionate and contravene DEFRA guidance. Via KC Dog, councils normally communicate with the Kennel Club regarding dog control orders, as we let our KC Dog members know what to do and how to respond. However, when we contacted Rugby they were not willing to engage with us by letting our KC Dog members know of their proposals.’ added Ms Kisko.

Other control order proposals as listed on the Rugby Borough Council website are: failure to remove dog faeces; failure to put a dog on a lead when required to do so; excluding dogs from land.

A fixed penalty payment would be £80 if paid within fourteen days or £50 if paid within ten days, and failure to pay the fixed Penalty Notices could lead to dog owners being prosecuted.
The statutory consultation period will end on 11th October and dog owners will have until then to respond to the council’s proposals. Dog owners can respond via email or letter. Email: Write to Writing to Rugby Borough Council, Environmental Protection Team, The Retreat, Newbold Road, RUGBY, CV21 2LG.