Hackney Council to introduce dog control orders

Hackney Council is stepping up efforts to tackle irresponsible dog ownershipwith the introduction of three new Dog Control Orders (DCOs) from 18 February.

New powers were introduced as aresult ofconcern from residents and park users about dogs off their leads,aggressive dogs and dogs in children's play areas and a wide-ranging public consultation was completed in 2011.

The majority of respondents were in favour of adopting three additional DCOs to tackle a variety of issues that willimprove people's enjoyment of their local environment. They are:

*A 'dog exclusion' order, enabling the Council to stop dogs from entering certain areas includingchildren's playgrounds, sports courts, multi-use games areas, and markedpitches where games are in play.

*A 'dogs on leads' order, which would stop owners from exercising dogs off-lead on roads and in car parks(excluding towpaths), churchyards, communal areas on estates, smallpublic parks and gardens under half a hectare in size and ShepherdessWalk.

*A 'dogs on leads where requested' order, which would give authorised council officers the power to request that dogs are put onleads where they are not under the appropriate control of their owner,or where they are causing damage or acting aggressively.

These three orders support an existing DCO which allows authorisedstaff to issue fines to anyone who does not immediately pick up after adog in their control has fouled in a public area.

Councillor Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, Sustainability andCustomer Services, says: "The majority of dog owners in Hackney behave responsibly and keep their dogs under control in public.

"We have listened to residents and dog owners and have amended the proposed orders following  feedback from those who wished to exercise their dogs on towpaths.

"But a small minority of dogowners in the borough are behaving irresponsibly and are not keeping theirdogs under control. The majority of those consulted support the orders that we are introducing.

"Thesenew powers will send a strong message that dogs must not be allowed tobehave in a way that causes problems for the community."

Anyone found flouting any of the offences can be issued with a FixedPenalty Notice for £80, if unpaid the penalty can be increased to up to £1,000 at Magistrates' Court.

For more information about the implementation of the Dog Control Orders,telephone: 020 8356 4839 or