A dog related Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) across the Dorset Council area comes into force on 1 January.
Notice of making a Public Spaces Protection Order under Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
TAKE NOTICE that:
1. Dorset Council has carried out the necessary consultation on its proposal to make The Dorset Council Dog Related Public Spaces Protection Order 2020 (the PSPO’) in accordance with section 72 of the above Act.
2. The PSPO has now been made in accordance with section 59 of the Act and it comes into force on the 1st January 2021 and will expire on the 31st December 2023
3. For further information on the content of the Order, penalty levels, maps and exemptions visit HERE.
4. Under the provisions of section 66 of the Act an interested person may apply to the High Court within 6 weeks from the date that the PSPO is made to question its validity on the grounds that:
(a) that the local authority did not have the power to make the order or variation, or to include particular prohibitions or requirements imposed by the order (or by the order as varied);
(b) that a requirement under Chapter 2 of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 was not complied with in relation to the order.
5. An ‘interested person’ is defined by section 66(2) of the Act as being an individual who lives in the restricted area or who regularly works in or visits that area.
Dated this 27th day of October 2020
For the first few weeks the Council will focus on advice and guidance to dog-owners explaining the new rules.
The order replaces a number of existing dog related PSPOs across the Dorset Council area. The intention is that the new Order will provide clarity and consistency across the area for dog owners and non-owners alike about dog controls on public open spaces such as beaches, sports fields and other public areas.
Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services said:
“The order has been made to protect the health of Dorset residents and visitors and is particularly aimed at areas that children and families use.
“It focuses on times and places that attract families, but leaves a variety of open spaces, countryside and beaches where there aren’t any restrictions.
“It is a compromise, and as such, won’t be everyone’s ideal situation but it provides a balance for dog owners and non-owners.”
The order follows a 15-week consultation that received 8,602 responses. 83% of responses were from local residents, with 15% from visitors and 2% other organisations. 64% of responses came from dog owners and 36% from non-dog owners. 6.6% of the respondents considered they had a disability. The recommendations from the consultation were considered and approved by the Place and Resources Overview Committee in September and Dorset Council Cabinet in October.
Dorset Council’s Responsibilities of a dog owner:
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 you are responsible for your dog to ensure they get the best out of life. They should be given a suitable environment, a suitable diet, be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, be able to socialise with their own breed and be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease in relation to the size, breed and age. The RSPCA can give you additional guidance.
Ensure your dog carries identification
By law, a dog should wear a tag inscribed with the owner’s name and address. You should also include an up to date mobile phone number. This is so that if your dog goes missing, the finder will be able to contact you. It is compulsory for all dogs to have a microchip fitted with their owner’s details. Owners must ensure their details are up to date with the microchipping company, it is an offence not to do so under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015.
Dogs under eight weeks old are exempt from the microchipping law. Dogs can also be exempt through a certificate issued by a registered vet. If you are buying a puppy, the breeder should have microchipped it and added their details, the breeder should then provide you with the information needed to change the chip to your details.
If your pet has a microchip and goes missing, the scanners held by the:
- dog wardens
help identify your pet’s unique chip number to re-unite you with your dog.
Even if your dog is microchipped, it must wear a tag in a public place to be legal.
Clear up after your dog
Everyone knows of the potential for dog faeces to carry disease as well as unpleasant odour when caught on shoes or wheels of wheelchairs, prams, bikes or scooters. It is an offence not to clear up after dogs and offenders are likely to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). There are a few exceptions but, in general terms, any open land that the public has access to, whether by payment or not, is covered by this legislation, unless you have the direct permission of the land owner.
Dog waste can be ‘bagged and binned’ in any litter or dog bin, or taken home and deposited in your waste bin. Follow the ‘Doggy Doo’ code.
Keep your dog under control when on and off a lead
The person responsible for the dog should be able to ensure that the dog will return to heel when requested, having good recall, and will respond to simple commands. That person should also be able to hold or restrain the dog should the need arise. Dogs should be under the control of a suitable person at all times.
Prevent your dog from straying
Please ensure that your home and garden are secure against escape. Neutering may also curb your dog’s urge to stray.
Do not leave your dog in a hot car
Even an open window may not be enough to be sure a dog will not over heat. It may be better to leave dogs at home where they have the comfort of shade and available drinking water. See RSPCA Dog Advice & Welfare for more information on your obligation to your dog. If you are concerned about a dog left in a car on a hot day please dial 999.
Make sure your dog doesn’t bark excessively
We all recognise that dogs bark, however, excessive dog barking is both stressful to the dog and upsetting to those listening to it. If you believe that you have a problem or have been advised that your dog barks excessively then consider what action you can take to resolve the problem. It may be that your dog is bored or anxious when left alone. A low volume radio left on can help to settle your dog but you may want to think about training your dog or speaking to a dog warden for advice.
Where no challenge is lodged the Order will automatically begin on the 1 January 2021.
The Order includes:
- removal and disposal of dog faeces for all public spaces
- dogs to be excluded from identified areas, such as enclosed children’s play areas or marked sport pitches, and on certain named beaches between 1 May and 30 September
- dogs to be kept on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
- dogs to be kept on lead in identified areas these may be generic or specifically identified, such as council owned allotments or car parks, formal gardens, church yards etc. and extends 5m from the marked sports pitch edge.
Details are supplied in the schedules of the Order along with maps to assist.
Exemptions apply which mainly relate to those with poor dexterity or disability preventing them collecting dog faeces, as well as enabling those with assistance dogs to access dog excluded areas, these are described in the Order.
An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) was supplied for Cabinet and was used to formulate the exemptions within the Order, to assist with enforcement and ensure signage was appropriate for all.
Information signs are provided to show where the areas of restriction are and the nature of the offence associated with it. Clearance of fouling signs are generally found only in areas where there is a level of high deposition and owners are acting irresponsibly by not collecting and disposing appropriately. If you are going to visit other areas outside of the Dorset Council one, please ensure you check with the Local Authority for that area to see if any restrictions apply. There also remains local land owner restrictions, if you are travelling across private land please ensure that you follow any request about how you control your dog.
Dogs on leads by direction
Some of the current PSPOs have a dogs on leads by direction element. They would respectfully ask that if you are requested to put your dog on a lead you do so. The reason an authorised officer will request this might be that they wish to speak to you, or your dog may be causing undue distress to people or dogs in the immediate area. Where the Order exists a fine may be issued for failing to do so.
The Dog Warden is happy to speak to members of the public on all dog related issues. If you have queries please contact the Dog Warden Service HERE. (You have to submit your email address and Register on their online portal to make contact.)