Friday, October 10, 2008

Dog Control Order Consultation

I mentioned in my earlier post about dogs, that a Lewisham Council consultation on dog control orders would be out soon. It is now available online. New legislation, under Section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005), will give local authorities extra powers to take action and enforcement against dog owners who do not comply with new rules.

Lewisham Council wants to introduce new enforcement powers that will enable it to take action against people who act irresponsibly by not controlling their dogs, or by allowing them to foul our footpaths and green spaces. It is hoped that the introduction of the Dog Control Order Act, which carries a £75 on-the-spot fine, will enable the Council to deal with irresponsible dog owners far more effectively.

Proposed offences that will attract an on-the-spot fine are:
  • Failing to remove dog faeces
  • Not keeping a dog on a lead in designated areas (these will be sign-posted in public areas)
  • Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
  • Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded
  • Taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.
The issue that has proved controversial for Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries is the proposal to allow owners to walk their dogs on leads in the cemeteries, whereas they are currently banned, although this policy is often flouted and not enforced. And of course Lewisham does only have two animal welfare officers to cover the entire borough, which while more than other London boroughs, leaves them rather stretch and with limited capacity to enforce the legislation.

Anyway, the public consultation period runs from Monday 13 October to Friday 14 November. Members of the public who wish to comment can complete the online survey, call 020 8314 7171 or email for more information.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tess Daley from Gordonbrock Primary School, and Nicole St Lewis from Prendergast Hilly Fields school, who won the “Bag it and Bin it” competition to design posters to remind people to clean up after their dog. Their winning entries, which were picked from 85 entries from across the borough were enlarged and put up on the sides of two refuse trucks. Glad to see Ladywell ward schools take a 'clean sweep' on this!

1 comment:

Obertra said...

Opening up even more Lewisham green space to dogs with a mere two wardens to patrol and enforce the whole of Lewisham’s Dog Order Controls is utter madness. Cemeteries, in any case, are sanctified places and should be strictly forbidden to dog walkers nationally let alone in Lewisham cemeteries. The fact that Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries are also certificated as uniquely grade 1 ‘biodiversity listed’ presents even more of an argument to continue to ban the detrimental effect dogs undoubtedly have on such places.