Dog Walkers,  Industry News

County Durham Council renews dog controls

Durham County Council is renewing its Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which was first introduced in 2017.

The new look PSPO has been drawn-up following a seven-week public consultation held earlier this year, which attracted 844 responses and invited input from local people and organisations including the Kennel Club, police, and town and parish councils.

A 1,240-name petition objecting to the proposal was also received by the council, with some local businesses expressing concerns about a potential negative impact on trade.

The new PSPO, which comes into force on Thursday 1 June, sees the list of offences increase from four to nine. It gives the council powers to issue a £100 fixed penalty notice for:

  • Allowing a dog to foul without picking it up;
  • Allowing a dog to stray;
  • Failure to put a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised person;
  • Allowing a dog in identified fenced-off play areas;
  • Allowing a dog in identified tennis courts and multi-use games areas;
  • Failure to have a dog on a lead in churchyards, cemeteries or crematoria managed by Durham County Council;
  • Failure to have a dog on a lead on identified sports pitches;
  • Walking more than six dogs at once;
  • Failure to have an identity tag attached to a harness or collar in a public space.

A proposal to introduce a seasonal dog ban on Seaham’s small “slope beach” was not progressed after the consultation revealed low support for it.

Councillor Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Climate Change, said: “We know the vast majority of dog owners act responsibly – the PSPO gives us powers to take action against those who don’t. It’s targeted at dog owners who fail to look after or control their pets and create worry and stress for other people.”

The new PSPO will be in place for three years and be reviewed before it expires on 31 May, 2026.

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