The UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, is urging dog owners in Denbighshire to have their say on proposals which could affect where people can walk their dogs.
Denbighshire County Council is able to restrict dog access in the county through 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 limit the number of dogs a person can walk at one time.
The council is currently consulting the public to determine if there is a need for a change in dog restrictions in the area, including areas in which dogs should be kept on leads and if dogs should be banned from certain areas. 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.
The Kennel Club believes that any total bans for dogs on public open spaces must be 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 the wellbeing of both people and dogs.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are glad to see that Denbighshire County Council is proactively consulting with the public and seem to be focusing on the need to promote responsible dog ownership.
“It is crucial that as many dog owners as possible in areas governed by the council have their say on the potential changes to where they may and may not walk their dogs, to enable the council to make an informed and fair decision for everyone who enjoys 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, other aspects such as a ban on off-lead dog walking in open spaces 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 pets.
“We hope that any new laws regarding dogs in Denbighshire are balanced and proportionate, and will allow responsible dog owners who simply want to keep their dogs fit and healthy by exercising them in public open spaces to continue to do so.”
For further details on the consultation, including maps of the areas affected and to respond, click here. The consultation closes 27th January 2017.
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. Click here for more information and to join.