Kennel Club urges Blackpool Council to rethink blanket restrictions on dog owners

The Kennel Club is supporting local dog owners who are calling for Blackpool Council to reconsider their proposed PSPOs which would affect responsible dog owners in the area, as well as local tourists.

The measures that the council are looking to introduce include:

  • Dogs on leads in popular dog walking areas including woodlands
  • Limiting the number of dogs a person can exercise to four dogs (with only two being allowed to be exercised off lead at a time)
  • A dog ban from marked (but unenclosed) sports pitches even if they are NOT in use

Owners have set up a petition which has in excess of 2,000 signatures. It states the concerns of Blackpool’s dog owners where they feel that there are already sufficient laws in place to stop fouling, disruptive and unruly dogs. They are worried that a blanket ban to stop all dog owners from being able to freely exercise their dogs on public land is unfair and the council should start trying to enforce the current laws that already stand first.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Off lead exercise is extremely important and is a requirement of the Code of Practice for dogs under the Animal Welfare Act. If residents are unable to comply with guidance which includes the provision of off lead exercise then they would have to drive to neighbouring areas to do so. The lack of provision for off lead exercise and complete dog bans is also likely to put off other dog owners from visiting the area, which again will have a knock-on effect on the ‘paw pound’ – those local businesses which are reliant on their dog walking visitors.

“It has been reported that the majority of dog owners and walkers in Blackpool behave responsibly and it is a small minority who aren’t playing their part, which is why it is such a shame that the council are proposing these measures. There are far more effective ways of targeting the few irresponsible dog owners than simply imposing blanket restrictions for all – especially when it is likely that without effective enforcement, the original perpetrators will continue their anti-social behaviour.

“We would urge the council to consider introducing targeted measures aimed at particular irresponsible dog owners, as they have the power to do under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and to consider the proposals set out by the Kennel Club in our report ‘Out of Order: The Impact of Access Restrictions on Dogs and their Owners’, especially since we are listed in the guidance as an organisation which should be consulted. We hope however that as part of the consultation process the council will engage with us.”