Irresponsible dog owners to face maximum fines as East Hampshire District Council eyes up new dog control powers

A COUNCIL is looking to impose maximum financial penalties in a bid to crack down on irresponsible dog owners.

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 10:59 am
Updated Sunday, 21st July 2019, 8:07 pm
You could be hit with a penalty charge if you don't follow these control measures under proposed new council rules

The action from East Hampshire District Council comes as it proposes to implement a Public Spaces Protection Order to replace outdated dog by-laws across the authority.

For eight weeks starting on Monday residents in the council’s boundary will be asked their views on dog fouling and the control of dogs in specific areas.

The council says new rules would provide a ‘clearer and more consistent’ approach to dog control that is easier to understand for owners.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

District-wide measures currently under consideration could mean:

:: People in charge of a dog must have a suitable bag with them or means to pick up their dog poo

:: People in charge of a dog must pick up, remove and suitably dispose of its poo

:: Putting dogs on a lead if asked by an authorised officer

:: Exclusion of dogs from fenced and gated areas including children’s play areas, skate parks, tennis courts and multi-use games areas

:: Dogs in council-owned cemeteries must be on a lead

:: An extension of the current arrangements for dog control at Queen Elizabeth Country Park for a further three years.

Some of the council’s current dog by-laws don’t come with the power to issue a fixed penalty notice, but the new order proposes charges should be set at £100.

This is the maximum permitted by the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act.

Councillor Julie Butler, deputy leader of EHDC and portfolio holder for welfare and communities, said: ‘A positive outcome from this consultation will allow us to update old legislation that is no longer appropriate.

‘It will make the enforcement procedure a lot clearer and allow us to issue fines to those who continue to cause upset, disruption and offence in our communities. We want to ensure robust enforcement when necessary and not just for the sake of it.

‘Dogs are an important part of everyday life for many of our residents and visitors, and the majority of those are responsible and caring owners. The new rules should balance the needs of dog owners and other members of the community.

‘We want to hear your views on the plans.’

The new rules do not apply to registered assistance dogs and the council is inviting feedback from individuals and groups.

The council is looking to implement the order later this year.

To take part in the consultation online, go to easthants.gov.uk/takethelead from Monday, July 22, 2019.