The UK's largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, is
encouraging dog owners in Warrington to have their say on dog
fouling in the area, as Warrington Borough Council runs a survey to
better understand the scale of the issue and to determine if
further action is needed to address it.
As well as attempting to obtain views on dog fouling in general,
the survey aims to determine if the public believes some form of
compulsory dog registration system is necessary.
The Kennel Club's campaign group, KC Dog, is alerting its members
and local dog owners to the survey to ensure that any outcome is as
fair as possible for all parties.
Whilst the Kennel Club supports proactive efforts on behalf of
local authorities to encourage responsible dog ownership,
particular measures such as the compulsory registration of dogs
could see responsible owners being penalised unfairly and could
result in a largely unenforceable, unnecessary tax on responsible
The Kennel Club does not support the compulsory registration of
dogs and believes that such a scheme would result in the low
compliance rates that existing registration systems have seen, such
as those in Ireland and Northern Ireland, which have compliance
rates of only 30 to 40 per cent, despite revenue being generated
through the schemes to help pay for their enforcement.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "We are concerned
that certain questions in Warrington Borough Council's survey
allude to the possibility that they may propose a dog registration
system that relies on dogs' DNA. We know from dog licensing,
which was abolished in England in 1987, that this would mean
additional cost to responsible dog owners, whilst the irresponsible
minority would continue to flout the law.
"In order to make any public consultation effective, even at the
informal stages, there should be a certain level of transparency,
but Warrington Borough Council does not seem to be being
particularly forthcoming about their intentions.
"We can all agree that dog mess is unpleasant, but we would be
concerned if the council tries to force Warrington's dog owners,
the vast majority of whom are perfectly responsible and always pick
up after their dogs, to register their dogs and pay for their pet's
DNA profile, when there are a number of alternatives for dealing
with dog fouling, such as community engagement events, awareness
raising campaigns and the promotion of responsible dog ownership,
all of which we would be very happy to discuss with the
"In its survey the council seems to be putting forward the merits
of a dog registration system, such as access to information about
the breed of a dog and about the health profile of a breed of dog,
for an additional cost, but these are things that are already
available through other avenues that do not involve compulsory
"We would encourage as many people as possible to have their say
on the issue so that the council can make as fair an assessment as
possible, to help ensure that any future decisions are made in the
best interests of all parties."
The council's survey on dog fouling will close on Sunday 1 May
2016 and can be found at www.warrington.gov.uk/consultations.
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.