Newark and Sherwood District Council is in the dog house over the introduction of control orders that ban pet owners from walking their dogs in more than 70 designated sites throughout the district – a move that welfare charity Dogs Trust has slammed as “a complete over reaction”.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is in the dog house over the introduction of control orders that ban pet owners from walking their dogs in more than 70 designated sites throughout the district – a move that welfare charity Dogs Trust has slammed as “a complete over reaction”.
 
dog walk banThe Dog Control Orders (DCOs), introduced by the council under section 55 of The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, ban dog lovers from walking their animals in any of the specified sites, which include play areas, fields, village greens and other open spaces. Breaches of the orders could see pet owners facing on-the-spot fines of £75. Those who dispute a fixed penalty notice in court could face a maximum fine of £1,000.
 
The council claimed the move was “not a complete ban of dogs in parks” and stated that, though extensive, the list of exclusion zones only equated to approximately 8% of the natural space that is publically accessible in the district.
 
Addressing the issue in a statement on its website, Dogs Trust claimed it was a firm believer in responsible dog ownership, but felt that a total ban on all dogs was “a complete over reaction to the problem of a small minority of owners failing to clean up after their pets.”
 
The statement said: “It is a requirement of the Animal Welfare Act that dogs are allowed to express their natural behaviour, which includes free exercise. Dogs Trust is concerned that the elderly, disabled or those on low incomes will find it difficult to travel to other areas where it will be possible for them to exercise their pets.
 
“Dogs Trust hopes that the council will rethink what appears to be a knee jerk reaction and we will be writing to the council to try to work out an alternative solution to this issue.”

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