New dog rules to be fully enforced from next month

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Dog owners are urged to take heed of new powers to tackle dog fouling that will be fully enforced across Daventry District from April 1.

The new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is designed to target the small number of irresponsible dog owners who persistently fail to pick up after their pet, creating a mess as well as a health hazard.

The PSPO came into force in December 2015, replacing existing dog control orders and adding two new rules making it an offence for dog walkers to go out without the means for picking up after their dog, and requiring dogs be put on leads in the area around the visitor centre/café at Daventry Country Park.

Daventry District Council enforcement officers have taken an educational approach to the two additional offences so far, reminding dog walkers of the new rules rather than issuing fines.

However those new powers will be fully exercised from April 1, so dog owners are urged to make sure they get into the habit of taking plenty of poo bags out with them on walks.

Under the PSPO, dog walkers in Daventry District risk a £100 fine and potentially prosecution if they do not:

- Pick up their dog’s poo

- Carry the means for picking up their dog’s poo at all times while on a walk

- Stop their dog from entering a fenced-off playground

- Place their dog on a lead when directed by a council officer

- Put their dog on a lead in the area around the visitor centre/café at Daventry Country Park.

Cllr Mike Warren, health and housing portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “The decision to introduce these powers was taken by council in December but we felt it was important to raise awareness among local communities before fully enforcing it.

“News of their introduction gained extensive national and local media coverage, and signs warning people of the new rules have now been placed around the district. Our enforcement officers have also been speaking to dog walkers to remind them about the new rules and to advise to them to make sure they have extra poop bags with them at all times.

“The PSPO gives us greater powers to take effective action against those irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after their pets and from April 1 anyone who falls foul of these rules faces a fine.

“But it’s also important to re-emphasise that the powers are not there to penalise the many responsible dog owners in our district.

“Officers will be taking a common-sense approach on their patrols and will be reasonable when considering any explanation offered as to why a person is not carrying bags. It’s not unreasonable though, for example, to expect someone who has just arrived at a venue to walk their dog to be carrying poo bags.”

People can find out more information about the PSPO, including a list of frequently asked questions, at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/dogfouling.