Hackney Council introduces dog control orders

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In an effort to tackle irresponsible dog ownership within the borough,  the council has introduced three new Dog Control Orders (DCOs) as of 18 February.

They were introduced following concerns from residents and park users about dogs off their leads, aggressive dogs and dogs in children’s play areas, after a wide-ranging public consultation was completed in 2011.

The majority of respondents were in favour of adopting three additional DCOs to tackle a variety of issues that will improve people’s enjoyment of their local environment. They are:

* A ‘dog exclusion’ order, enabling the Council to stop dogs from entering certain areas including children’s playgrounds, sports courts, multi-use games areas, and marked pitches where games are in play.

* A ‘dogs on leads’ order, which would stop owners from exercising dogs off-lead on roads and in car parks (excluding towpaths), churchyards, communal areas on estates, small public parks and gardens under half a hectare in size and Shepherdess Walk.

* A ‘dogs on leads where requested’ order, which would give authorised council officers the power to request that dogs are put on leads where they are not under the appropriate control of their owner, or where they are causing damage or acting aggressively.

These three orders support an existing DCO which allows authorised staff to issue fines to anyone who does not immediately pick up after a dog in their control has fouled in a public area.

Councillor Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services, says: “The majority of dog owners in Hackney behave responsibly and keep their dogs under control in public.

“We have listened to residents and dog owners and have amended the proposed orders following  feedback from those who wished to exercise their dogs on towpaths.

“But a small minority of dog owners in the borough are behaving irresponsibly and are not keeping their dogs under control. The majority of those consulted support the orders that we are introducing.

“These new powers will send a strong message that dogs must not be allowed to behave in a way that causes problems for the community.”

Anyone found flouting any of the offences can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for £80, if unpaid the penalty can be increased to up to £1,000 at Magistrates’ Court.

For more information about the implementation of the Dog Control Orders, telephone: 020 8356 4839 or visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/dogcontrol

 

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