New dog laws could be introduced in Chesterfield
Councillors are considering introducing new offences to tackle irresponsible dog ownership in Chesterfield.
Under the Chesterfield Borough Council proposals, dog owners could be fined £100 if they are unable to show an enforcement officer that they have the means – for example, a bag – to pick up their pet’s mess.
In addition, dogs may be excluded from children’s play areas and required to be kept on a lead in designated areas. The children’s play areas and designated areas are yet to be determined.
Residents are being invited to comment on the plans as part of a public consultation which ends on November 4.
The proposed new offences would exist alongside existing dog control powers – which, among other things, include enforcement action for owners who fail to clean up after their pet.
A borough council spokesman said: “We are keen to welcome dog walkers and dogs to the borough and also want to encourage responsible dog ownership.
“There are increasing public concerns over irresponsible dog ownership, including complaints of dog attacks on people and their pets, dog fouling and urinating on grassed areas and dogs out of control.”
Figures show that the borough council received and investigated 357 complaints about dog fouling between April, 2015, and March, 2016.
The spokesman added: “The council is already promoting messages asking people to be a responsible dog owner, pick up after your dog and report those who don’t pick up after their dog.
“We are also investing in signs across anumber of identified hot spot locations.
“Nevertheless, a small minority of dog walkers continue to fail to pick up.”
To get involved in the public consultation, visit www.chesterfield.gov.uk and click on ‘have your say on dog control measures’ on the homepage.