New dog controls to tackle irresponsible pet owners

Published Monday 6 June 2016

New regulations to tackle irresponsible dog owners are set to come into force.

The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 has introduced powers for Councils to bring in Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) to identify and address particular problems in their areas.

Related to this, Harborough District Council gathered public opinion to help decide if these new and enhanced powers should be brought in to tackle dog fouling and other forms of irresponsible dog ownership in the district.

The public responded overwhelmingly in favour of a Public Spaces Protection Order to help crackdown on irresponsible dog owners.

Having considered public feedback, the Council’s Executive committee agreed that a Public Spaces Protection Order should be introduced in the Harborough district.

The order will, in summary, make it an offence to:

  • Fail to pick up after your dog (ie. dog fouling). This will now include all land to which the public can gain access including agricultural land.
  • Failing to put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer. This allows Council officers to direct that a dog is put on a lead when it is causing nuisance and/or danger to other persons and their dogs
  • Failing to provide at the request of an authorised officer the means to pick up after a dog (eg. bags)

Anyone ignoring the order could be issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice, or be taken to court with a fine on conviction of up to £1,000.

Any challenge to the new Public Spaces Protection Order must be made in the High Court by an interested person by the deadline of 13 July 2016. An interested person is someone who lives in, regularly works in, or visits the restricted area.

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