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Council asks for views on the borough’s current dog control order

Residents are being invited to have their say on Cheshire West and Chester Council’s current dog control order that encourages responsible dog ownership and tackles irresponsible dog owners.

A public consultation will be launched on Thursday 16 May 2024 and will run until Sunday 14 July 2024.

The Council recognises that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and keep their dogs under control when they are out and about.  And for animal welfare reasons it is beneficial for dog owners to be able to exercise their dogs off lead in open spaces.

However, if they are not properly supervised and kept under control, dogs that are allowed off lead in public areas can cause nuisance or even injury to members of the public, or other animals, and may cause road traffic accidents. 

Dog fouling, the most unacceptable and offensive type of litter on our streets, can also be an issue. As well as being deeply unpleasant, it can also be dangerous as, while it is rare, contact with dog excrement can cause toxocariasis – a harmful infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures.

In October 2018 the Council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering a wide range of dog control measures, while also encouraging responsible dog ownership.

These measures were maintained in 2021 following the statutory review.

In October 2021 the Council reviewed the range of measures covering the control of dogs and encouraging responsible dog ownership.

The measures currently in force are:

  • Dogs are excluded from fully enclosed children’s play areas that contain play equipment.
  • Dogs are excluded from fully- or partially enclosed multi-use games areas (MUGAs) and tennis courts.
  • Dogs must be placed on a lead at the request of an authorised officer.
  • Dogs must be on a lead in cemeteries and council-maintained crematorium gardens.
  • Where a lead is required, it must be a maximum of two metres in length (fixed or locked).
  • A maximum of six dogs per person can be walked together.
  • Dog walkers must pick up their dog foul.
  • Dog walkers must carry sufficient means to pick up their dog foul.

In addition, a separate PSPO is in place which bans smoking in fully enclosed children’s play areas that contain play equipment.

Both PSPOs are due for review.

A breach of any of the provisions of the PSPOs is subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100 and, if an FPN is not appropriate, up to £1000 on prosecution.

Further information is available on our website: 

Enforcement Policy.

None of the provisions described above apply on Forestry Commission land.

Residents are being invited to have their say on the Council’s PSPO on dog control and the smoking ban in fully enclosed children’s play area.

The consultation will ask for views on a range of proposals which could be enforced using FPNs.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Christine Warner said:

“We know that problems caused by irresponsible dog owners are felt within communities across our borough and we are committed to tackling these issues.

“The only change suggested to the current provisions is the introduction of a provision to require dogs to be on leads at all times on council-managed bowling greens. No other changes are intended to the control methods in the current PSPOs, subject to the results of the consultation. This review is largely to ascertain whether the current control methods are still appropriate.

“These controls will continue to keep our children and residents safe in their communities where there could be problems with dog fouling or irresponsible dog ownership. I hope as many residents as possible give their views.”

There are a variety of ways to give your views and the consultation will close on 14 July 2024:

The outcome of the public consultation will be considered by Cabinet in September 2024.

More details here:

Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) | Cheshire West and Chester Council

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