Dog Walkers,  Industry News

North Devon limits dog walkers

Dog walkers in North Devon will be limited to walking six dogs at any one time.

North Devon Council says capping the dog-to-person ratio at six-to-one, with no more than three off the lead at any time, will help manage the negative impact of the intensive walking of dogs. 

Reports suggest professional dog walkers will be encouraged to sign up to a voluntary code of practice and carry ID, which could be used as a defence if a complaint was made against them.

Environmental Health Officer Daryl Littlejohns said: “The majority think three dogs is enough, but we think six is less draconian and appropriate after looking at other authorities and best practice. 

“Professional dog walkers in the area are quite happy about what we have proposed and are creating an alliance. I thought that was quite encouraging.” 

The council is also planning to impose temporary restrictions banning dogs or keeping them on leads for two months in areas with a high incidence of dog-related anti-social behaviour or fouling. This will be done through a legally enforceable Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). 

The move come after a public consultation found that around 60% of the 855 responses received were in favour of temporary restrictions at hotspots and there was general support for retaining current dog controls. 

Under the PSPO, dogs will continue to be banned from children’s play areas, designated sports pitches, Croyde and Combe Martin beaches between May and September, land used as high tide roosting sites in winter, plus there will be rules around dog-fouling and length of leads. 

New signs will highlight the restrictions on council-owned land and will also be available to private landowners. 

The council has previously said it hopes to move “seamlessly” to a new order from 1 January 2024.

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