The UK's largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, is
urging dog owners in Caerphilly to have their say on proposals
which could restrict dog walking in the area and see responsible
dog owners fined if they are not able to prove they have had
'means to pick up' whilst on a walk.
Caerphilly Council is seeking the views of the public in a dog
access consultation it is running to determine the need for Public
Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), which replaced Dog Control Orders
under the Anti-social, Crime and Policing Act 2014. PSPOs can
exclude anyone with dogs from certain areas, require that dogs are
kept on leads at all times in certain areas, and result in fines
for anyone with a dog who cannot prove they have the means to pick
up after their dog. The council is also seeking views on dog
fouling in the area.
The Kennel Club's campaign group, KC Dog, is alerting its members
and local dog owners to the consultation to ensure that the outcome
is as fair as possible for all parties.
Specific restrictions the council is consulting on include bans on
dog walking on sporting and recreational fields, and restrictions
on where dogs can be walked off lead. The Kennel Club believes that
total bans for dogs on 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 important for canine health and wellbeing.
Furthermore, the Kennel Club holds the view that any ban on dogs
from public spaces should be based on evidence and only implemented
if there is a genuine need, such as to safeguard certain wildlife
that can be affected by dogs, or to protect the wellbeing of both
people and dogs.
The Kennel Club is concerned about the proposal to require dog
walkers to be able to produce a 'means to pick up' - namely a dog
waste bag or similar receptacle. Whilst the Kennel Club supports
proactive efforts on behalf of local authorities to encourage
responsible dog ownership, this particular measure could see
responsible owners being penalised unfairly. Responsible
owners who take dog waste bags on walks may be approached to prove
their 'means to pick up' after they have used the bags to clean up
their dog's waste, for example. The Kennel Club would therefore
want to see a comprehensive awareness campaign being implemented in
the area should this plan come into effect, to ensure dog owners
are aware of the need to take an excess of dog waste bags with them
when they go for a walk.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "This is the perfect
opportunity for dog owners in Caerphilly to have their say on the
proposals so that the Council can make informed and fair decisions
that will be best for all those who enjoy the local area.
"Some aspects of PSPOs, such as the requirement to pick up after a
dog, are very sensible measures to help promote responsible dog
ownership. However, making it a legal requirement for a dog owner
to provide evidence of their 'means to pick up', when local
authorities are already extremely under-resourced, is highly
unlikely to have the effect that these local authorities are
"Other aspects such as a ban on off-lead dog walking may not be
welcomed by the many responsible dog owners in the area whose pets
enjoy local public spaces without any issue.
"Dogs need a good deal of exercise, including off lead, so we
would not want to see restrictions that have a negative effect on
the amount of exercise responsible owners can give their
For further details on the consultation and to respond, visit
The consultation closes on 24 June 2016.
KC Dog is a dog owner campaign group, free to join, which keeps
members updated on dog access issues, and other relevant Kennel
Club campaigns, which may affect dog owners across the country.
Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcdog for more
information and to join.