Have your say on new Dog Control Orders
Mansfield District Council is asking for people's views on a decision to introduce three new Dog Control Orders.
The new regulations increase fixed penalty notices from £50 to £75 for dog owners who fail to remove dog mess on public land. This brings it in line with other fines already in place for offences such as littering and graffiti.
A new offence of failing to put a dog on a lead and keep it on a lead when told to do so by an authorised officer will face the same penalty of £75. Owners would be required to put their dog on a lead only if it was behaving in an unsuitable way or was not under control.
It will also be an offence to allow dogs to enter children's play areas and sports arenas which are enclosed with a boundary fence or similar. There are currently fenced play areas and sports facilities including bowling greens and tennis courts in 33 locations across the District where these orders will apply.
Cases which go to court can incur penalties of up to £1,000.
The consultation asks people to comment on the Notice of Intention to Make Dog Control Orders by 20 July. The order can be viewed online at www.mansfield.gov.uk or at the Council's Civic Centre in Mansfield. Comments should be sent to Mr. G Bailey, Civic Centre, Mansfield District Council, Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG19 7BH or by email to email@example.com
A decision to introduce the new Orders was taken in May by Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection. However, this decision is subject to results of this formal consultation. If no adverse representations are received, the Orders will come into force in early August.
The decision to introduce the Orders was taken following a public consultation between August 2010 and September 2010, which showed strong support for the introduction of tighter controls on dog owners.
Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at Mansfield District Council said: "Last year's consultation showed that dog fouling is a major concern to the people of Mansfield District and the Council is committed to doing all it can to help address this issue.
"The proposals do not include banning dogs from parks, nor will dogs be required to be on a lead at all times.
"We understand the need for dog walkers to exercise their dogs in public places but we have to balance that against the health risks to members of the public, particularly children who could come into contact with dog faeces while enjoying our public spaces."
Dog faeces are linked to health risks, including toxocara canis, which can cause stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and even blindness. The parasite can remain in the soil for many years, even after the dog mess has weathered away.
To report dog fouling in the Mansfield District call 01623 463 463.