KC Dog: Protecting Dog Owners' Rights

 

KC Dog: Ensuring Fair Access for Dog Owners

Walking your dog in a local park, along a country path or a particular stretch of beach is something most dogs and their owners enjoy every day. But that pleasure should not be taken for granted, even though it is an integral part of being a responsible dog owner.

Local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have powers to impose blanket restrictions on where dog walkers can go with their dog and whether they can let their dogs off lead. For example these restrictions may specify a particular park (or area within the park) where dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, or ban dogs from a beach for specific times of year or all year round. At present there are no equivalent powers available to local authorities in Scotland.

KC Dog

KC Dog is the UK's largest dog owners group, which actively campaigns against unreasonable access restrictions for dog walkers and which aims to work with local authorities to find sensible solutions.

KC Dog and its members have been successful in altering a number of proposals to restrict dog walking access. These include:

  • Carmarthenshire County Council rethinking their proposal to ban off lead dog exercise in all of their parks
  • Daventry District Council being defeated in their proposal to ban dogs being exercised off lead across the whole of Daventry Country Park.

KC Dog report – Out of Order, The Impact of Access Restrictions on Dogs and their Owners

We have recently published a report into the impact of PSPOs, and other access restrictions on dog walkers. Highlighting good and bad practice, it contains recommendations for both government and local authorities to reduce the risk of unfair and disproportionate restrictions on responsible dog walkers.

To download the report please click here.

What you can do before restrictions are introduced

Local authorities must consult and consider the views of anyone who proposed restrictions may affect, including local residents and visitors to the area. Typically they do this via online surveys or inviting comment via email. In either case, you can simply state whether you support or oppose the proposed restrictions, or provide a longer response detailing why you agree or disagree.

If you respond to an online survey, you may also want to write in separately, particularly if you were not able to express your view fully, within the boundaries of what can be very short surveys. 

Responding to consultations is extremely important and we encourage all affected dog owners to do so. A list of live and recently closed consultations on restricting dog access can be found at the bottom of this page.

After restrictions have been introduced

It is difficult to persuade a local authority to reverse or alter restrictions after they have been issued, but you can put pressure on the local authority if you believe Orders are not being implemented or enforced properly. For example, if there is no clear signage to identify an area where dogs are banned, or if council officials are being overly heavy handed in enforcing the rules, we would encourage you to contact the local authority directly, or get in touch with KC Dog.

Dog Control Orders and Public Spaces Protection Orders

Prior to October 2014 restrictions on dog walking were introduced as Dog Control Orders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, following a change in the law, since October 2014 any new restrictions introduced by local authorities in England and Wales must be made using Public Spaces Protection Orders (often referred to as PSPOs). Local authorities in Northern Ireland will continue to use Dog Control Orders.

Public Spaces Protection Orders provide local authorities in England and Wales greater flexibility in the measures they can introduce. Existing Dog Control Orders in England and Wales must be converted to Public Spaces Protection Orders by October 2017.

Local authorities must consult with local dog walkers on proposed restrictions. The importance of responding to local authority consultations applies regardless of whether the restrictions are being proposed in Northern Ireland, England or Wales.

Contact us

If you hear about a consultation to restrict dog walking in your area and it is not listed on this webpage, or if you think existing restrictions are being enforced incorrectly, let us know by emailing kcdog@thekennelclub.org.uk.

Benefits of Joining KC Dog:

  • Opt to receive updates on proposed dog restrictions in your local area.
  • Membership is free.
  • Receive a quarterly e-news highlighting issues, consultations, campaigns, restrictions and much more either on a nationwide scale, or just tailored to your local area.Contact us to ensure we are aware of any proposed dog restrictions in your area to ensure that we can take action (this includes responding to consultations independently as well as contacting local MPs and local media in some cases).

Sign up for free here and help make a difference for dogs. 

Live Consultations

Durham County Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Allowing dogs to stray
  • Dogs on lead by direction
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 5th December. For more information, please visit this page.

Swindon Borough Council is currently consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog on lead

The deadline to respond is 8th December. For more information, please visit this page.

Luton Borough Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dog on lead
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 9th December. For more information, please visit this page.

South Somerset District Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on lead by direction
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 8th January. For more information, please visit this page.

Cornwall Council is currently consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 12th January. For more information, please visit this page.

Fylde Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on lead
  • Dog exclusion
  • Maximum number of dogs

The deadline to respond is 15th January. For more information, please visit this page.

Gosport Borough Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • A new offence requiring dog owners to have the means to pick up
  • Dogs on lead
  • Dogs on lead by direction
  • Dog exclusion
  • Maximum number of dogs

The deadline to respond is 16th January. For more information, please visit this page.

Recently Closed Consultations

Enfield Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on leads
  • Dogs on leads by direction
  • Dog exclusion
  • A new offence requiring dog owners to have the means to pick up

The deadline to respond is 28th November. For more information, please visit this page.

Cheltenham Borough Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on leads
  • Dogs on leads by direction
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 27th November. For more information, please visit this page.

Sunderland City Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on leads by direction
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 25th November. For more information, please visit this page.

Cambridge City Council is currently consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dog exclusion
  • Dog on lead
  • Dog on lead by direction

The deadline to respond is 21st November. For more information, please visit this page.

Wrexham Council is currently consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dog exclusion
  • Dog on lead
  • Dog on lead by direction

The deadline to respond is 11st November. For more information, please visit this page.

Chesterfield Borough Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on leads
  • Dogs on leads by direction
  • Dog exclusion
  • A new offence requiring dog owners to have the means to pick up

The deadline to respond is 4th November. For more information, please visit this page.

Richmondshire District Council is currently consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dog exclusion
  • Dog on lead

The deadline to respond is 31st October. For more information, please visit this page.

Swansea Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond is 31st October. For more information, please visit this page.

Gateshead Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • A new offence requiring dog owners to have the means to pick up

The deadline to respond was 13th October. For more information, please visit this page.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has published their Public Spaces Protection Order consultation which includes proposals on:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on leads
  • Dogs on leads by direction
  • Dog exclusion

The deadline to respond was 17th October. For more information, please visit this page.

Version suitable for printing
Downloads
/media/708351/kc_dog_flyer.pdf
KC Dog Flyer
/media/282357/kc-dog-mini-access-guide.pdf
KC Dog Walkies pocket guide

Related Topics

Clean Neighbourhoods And Environment Act (2005)Dog OwnersDog WalkingKC Dog

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