Dogs could be subject to stronger controls in the Cotswolds later this year following the outcome of the current public consultation by the District Council.
The Council is considering adopting new powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005), which allow local authorities to introduce Dog Control Orders. The Orders could cover the following:
- preventing fouling of land by dogs
- requiring owners to keep dogs on leads
- excluding dogs from specified land
- controlling the number of dogs a person can take onto specified land
Before introducing any orders, the Council wants to find out which towns and villages are experiencing dog-related problems and how the orders might improve the situation.
A questionnaire has been sent to all town and parish councils in the District and residents, land owners and businesses are encouraged to contact their local town or parish council to let them know of their concerns. The community can also give their views by filling in a short survey on the Council’s website at www.cotswold.gov.uk.
The initial consultation, which runs until the end of January, will also include short telephone surveys with randomly-selected callers to the Council.
All the responses will be analysed and depending on the results a series of draft Dog Control Orders will then be drawn up. A more detailed public consultation will then follow in Spring or early Summer 2008.
The Council anticipates rolling out the Dog Control Orders in September 2008 but this will depend on the feedback received through the consultation phases.
Public Protection Manager Kate Bishop said: “We recognise that dog fouling and other dog-related matters are emotive issues and we would like to hear the public’s views on the subject before deciding whether or not dog control orders are needed in the Cotswolds.
“Dog fouling in particular can create a potential health hazard. Whilst we currently have some laws in place to deal with this, the new powers could provide us with additional tools such as fixed penalty notices to deal with this unsociable matter”
Anyone who breaches the terms of a Dog Control Order faces a fine of up to £1,000 or the opportunity to pay a fixed penalty notice.