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KC Dog Summer Newsletter 2015

24 August 2015    00:00
 

Dear KC Dog Member,

Welcome to the Summer KC Dog newsletter, the first since the UK General Election. Following the election, the Prime Minister refreshed his ministerial team and appointed George Eustice MP as the new Animal Welfare Minister, replacing Lord de Mauley. Following the recent influx of proposed restrictions on dog owners we are looking forward to updating the KC Dog newsletter over the coming months, to make it more interactive and relevant for you, with news and updates on proposals to restrict access for dog walkers within your local area. We are also planning to make the newsletter more interactive with competitions and polls, so please keep your eye out for future updates.

Compulsory dog DNA Registers

KC Dog is becoming increasingly concerned about proposals from local authorities to implement compulsory dog DNA registers in a variety of areas across the country (notably in Barking & Dagenham and Warrington). We have been meeting with Government departments including the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Home Office about this, as well as a local authority intent on taking this forward, as we do not consider such proposals to be reasonable. Ultimately it would mean that all dog owners in that area, or visiting that area, would need to have their dog's DNA registered on a database - at a cost to them, in order to walk their dog. Local authorities would then match any un-binned dog poo to the dog owner and the owner would subsequently be fined. We have written a detailed document about why we do not believe compulsory registers will be effective or fair. This can be found here.

Public Spaces Protection Orders - we need your help

A growing number of local authorities are proposing increasingly restrictive dog control measures though Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs). For instance, Carmarthenshire Council recently proposed a PSPO which would require all dogs to be kept on leads, at all times, across all  parks and sports pitches (including non-enclosed pitches). KC Dog continues to campaign against unreasonable access restrictions, but we would also encourage local dog owners to respond in order to strengthen the campaign. We maintain a live list of dog related PSPOs on our website; if you think we are missing a PSPO consultation please let us know - kcdog@thekennelclub.org.uk

Live PSPO consultations

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council -Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have launched a PSPO consultation which contains a number of proposals to restrict where dogs can be walked both on and off lead, including on Weymouth and Preston beaches. The deadline to respond is 2 October 2015. For more information, please visit this page.

Forthcoming PSPO consultations

Carmarthenshire County Council - the council had previously launched an informal online consultation, which was reported in the previous newsletter. The council has subsequently made a number of conflicting announcements over what shape their PSPO will take. We have cautiously welcomed the latest of these announcements, which states the council will be formally consulting on three reasonable measures. These are a requirement to pick up after your dog, a dog on lead by direction order and excluding dogs from children's playgrounds. However, of considerable concern to us is reference to a possible review in six months' time to look at the possibility of introducing a blanket dog on lead measure for parks and sports pitches. We strongly opposed the possibility of these measures being introduced during the initial consultation period, and will continue to oppose such measure in the future. We would strongly advise local KC Dog members to do the same, including those who visit Carmarthenshire with their dogs. We will publicise details of the upcoming formal consultation as soon as we have them.

Swindon Borough Council - We have been contacted by Swindon Borough Council regarding a proposed PSPO, details to be confirmed.

Please stay updated about forthcoming PSPOs by checking our website and following us on Facebook and Twitter @KCLovesDogs #KCcampaigns

Closed PSPOs

Daventry District Council - Daventry District Council has published their PSPO consultation, which also includes proposals to introduce a new offence requiring dog walkers to be in possession of the means to pick up (e.g. poo bag or poop scoop). The proposed PSPO also includes dog exclusion, dog on lead and dog on lead by direction measures. The consultation closed on 10 August 2015. For more information, please visit this page.

Bassetlaw District Council - we had positive discussions with Bassetlaw regarding their proposed Orders. We raised concerns about their proposals to ban dogs completely from playing fields as in many instances there are no boundaries around playing fields in parks and so it is difficult for owners to not allow their dogs to enter them unless they are kept on leads. We were delighted that the Council took these comments on board, and will be introducing a sensible and reasonable PSPO, which balances the needs of all those using public spaces. The PSPO will require dog owners to pick up after their dogs, keep them on leads in burial grounds and not allow them to enter enclosed children's playgrounds. These are measures we believe that responsible dog owners will be content to follow.

Ashfield District Council - Ashfield District Council published a PSPO consultation which included a proposal to introduce a new offence requiring dog walkers to be in possession of the means to pick up (e.g poo bag or poop scoop). The consultation included potential dog exclusion measures, and dog on lead and on lead by direction measures. We will update KC Dog on the outcome of the consultation as and when appropriate.

Oxford City Council - Oxford City Council proposed wide ranging PSPOs, which alongside dog control measures, also included measures to tackle pigeon feeding, busking, and begging. Following public pressure and a threat of a legal challenge from the human rights organisation Liberty, Oxford City Council has put its PSPO proposals on hold for the moment to allow for further review. Oxford now joins Hackney and Coventry Councils in bowing to pressure over their PSPO proposals.

Three Rivers District Council - Local residents made KC Dog aware of a consultation issued by Three Rivers on specific restrictions including complete dog bans in a number of playing fields in areas, including Scotsbridge and King George V playing fields. We responded to the consultation stating our view that total bans for dogs in public open spaces must be necessary and proportionate and should only be used as a very last resort, as open spaces can be ideal for dogs to be exercised off lead, which is essential for canine health and wellbeing. The consultation closed on 15 May, and it is expected that the Council will report the findings of its consultation in September this year. We will monitor the council's proposals, and update KC Dog as and when appropriate.

Electric Shock Collars - campaign update from Scotland

The last newsletter highlighted a debate held in the Scottish Parliament in January on the use of shock collars. Since then, Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead has announced that the Scottish Government will be consulting on possible restrictions to their usage, or an outright ban. We would encourage all KC Dog members in Scotland to respond to this consultation once live.

We will post updates on our Facebook page and Twitter @KCLovesDogs #KCcampaigns

Yulin dog meat festival - write to your elected representatives

Whilst the recent Yulin dog meat festival has once again shone the spotlight on the horrors of the dog meat trade, sadly dogs are slaughtered for human consumption across East Asia all year round. If like many other dog lovers this thought upsets you, we would encourage you to contact your elected parliamentary representatives to raise your concerns.

Dog Awareness Days

It is welcome news that some local authorities are addressing issues they may have with dog owners through awareness days and better communication, rather than introducing Orders as a first step.

KC Dog is always happy to help with these initiatives. Our access advisor recently met North Norfolk District Council about what steps they could take to address an ongoing issue with dog fouling and KC Dog took part in Buckingham Town Council's Dog Awareness Day on Sunday 12th July. We would encourage local dog owners to come along and see us.

 

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