Saturday, 21 June 2014

What Makes A Dog Owner Responsible?

Whatever you may think about people who own dogs, Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for your views on introducing a series of Dog Control Orders that would help promote responsible dog ownership in the area. 

The Orders cover a number of offences, including fouling, dogs on leads, areas where dogs are not allowed and people taking more than the maximum numbers of dogs onto these areas. The consultation runs until 28th July.

Cllr Amanda Dodwell, Deputy Executive Member for Community Safety explained: “We know that the vast majority of dog owners are caring and considerate, but the few that aren’t have an enormous impact on others. One of the key areas we want to tackle is not cleaning up after your
dog – not only is it very noticeable and unpleasant, it also has potential health implications. And
those using our countryside sites and footpaths have told us that dog fouling is one of the biggest
problems for them.”

Dog Control Orders provide for the following five offences:

a. Failing to remove dog faeces; 

b. Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;

c. Not keeping a dog on a lead;

d. Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded; or

e. Taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.

Cllr Dodwell added: “We want to strike a balance between the interests of those in charge of
dogs and those affected by the activities of dogs, bearing in mind the need for people to have
access to dog-free areas and the need for those in charge of dogs to have areas where they can
exercise their dogs.”

“We hope lots of people will share their views in this consultation so that we can take the best
possible approach going forward. We know residents value Central Bedfordshire as a great place
to live and work and these Orders could be an extra step in keeping it so.”

You can have your say online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations from 20 June or
by completing a questionnaire which is available to collect from the Council Offices at Watling
House, Dunstable or Priory House, Shefford, or can be requested by phoning 0300 300 5639.

Completed questionnaires can be sent back using the freepost address on the form.

The Dog Control Orders have already been considered by Town and Parish Councils and those
results, along with public consultation feedback, will be considered by Officers and Dog Control

Orders issued as appropriate. Any orders made will come into force in October 2014.

Signs will be erected to advise those in charge of dogs of the relevant restrictions in their locality. Enforcement would be carried out by authorised Council officers, dog wardens, and countryside site managers and park rangers.

Dog Control Orders provide exemptions in particular cases for registered blind people, deaf people, and for other people with disabilities who make use of trained assistance dogs