People asked for their views on extending dog control orders

People are being asked if they agree with proposals to exclude dogs from more public spaces.

Proposals to update existing dog control orders would see the list of places where they are in force expanded to cover skate parks, sports areas and certain communal areas.

People are being invited to add their views to a consultation – launched today – about these proposals.

The suggested changes are a result of an annual review of dog control orders to ensure they are appropriate for the city and strike the right balance between dog owners and other members of the public.

Under existing dog control orders, dogs (other than guide or assistance dogs), are excluded from children’s play areas, remembrance gardens, some school grounds and wildlife gardens.

The rules also mean that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times on the city’s streets and footpaths and grass verges next to roads. It also covers cemeteries, crematoria and some ornamental gardens.

As part of the consultation, people are being asked if they think any other areas or sites should be added to areas where dogs are excluded or required to be kept on a lead.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“We introduced dog control orders two years ago to clamp down on nuisance and dangerous behaviour. The rules have proven to be very effective in encouraging responsible dog ownership but where people fail to take these responsibilities seriously we do enforce them.

“Reviewing the orders will ensure they remain appropriate. At the same time, they will give dog owners clarity on what we believe responsible ownership involves.

“We’re confident that the orders will also continue to give communities the reassurance they need that we’re doing all we can to clamp down on nuisance behaviour and fouling. I’d encourage everyone to get involved and have their say during the consultation.”

The orders allow the council to clamp down on nuisance and dangerous behaviour and they prevent unattended dogs from causing damage or upset in sensitive locations like cemeteries and wildlife gardens. Making owners keep their dog on a lead by the road side helps avoid unnecessary traffic accidents and injuries, or worse, to dogs.

Owners in breach of an order can be issued with an on the spot fixed penalty notice for £75. The maximum fine if prosecuted is £1,000.

Fixed penalty notices have been issued to 89 people for breaching orders in the last 12 months with 18 dog owners being prosecuted.

A full list of the land covered by the current and proposed dog control orders are available at www.leeds.gov.uk/dogs. Hard copies of the survey can be requested by calling 0113 395 1765 or by emailing environmental.action@leeds.gov.uk.

The consultation will run for a period of five weeks from Monday 18 March to Saturday 20 April.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk