Sunderland dog control orders go live to clampdown on errant owners

The clampdown on dog nuisances comes after Sunderland City Council introduced new powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods Act

A dog running through a park with no owner
A dog running through a park with no owner

Nearly 200 orders aimed at controlling dog fouling are going “live” this weekend across Sunderland.

The orders have been introduced by Sunderland City Council to tackle the recurring issue of dog fouling within the council’s five administrative areas - North, East, West, Coalfield and Washington.

Each of the council’s five area committees had looked at the problem.

The council receives frequent reports relating to dog fouling and nuisance dogs and in concerned that community facilities and areas can be blighted if dogs are not controlled adequately.

Although the council currently has powers to prosecute for dog fouling in specified areas across the city, dog control orders will help tackle a wider variety of dog nuisances according to requirements in specific areas while providing clear guidance to responsible dog owners within parks and open spaces.

Michael Mordey, the council’s portfolio holder for city services, is a Hendon ward councillor, and sits on the East committee.

He said: “Questions about dogs are one of the main reasons that residents contact the council or their ward councillors.

“The council has worked closely with residents groups and associations, and the friends of many of our parks and open spaces.

“We consulted on the measures and many people and groups were in favour of them, and now we’re introducing them.”

Coun Mordey has been helping staff put up Dog Control Area signs in Mowbray Park in the city.

Consultation on the orders was held through May this year.

The orders are from powers available within the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.

These powers allow councils to exercise greater control over dog handlers with the provision of dog control orders which:

  • Impose a limitation on where dogs are permitted;
     
  • A restriction on where dogs may be permitted off lead;
     
  • Designated areas where dogs must be placed on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised council officer.
     
  • The identification of land where fouling must be removed and deposited lawfully;
     
  • A restriction on the number of dogs per person in designated locations.

Maps of Dog Prohibited areas and Dogs on Leads locations have been produced and are available to view on-line or at the council’s Customer Service Centre in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

See www.sunderland.gov.uk/dog-control

It is a criminal offence to breach a dog control order with a maximum of £1,000 upon conviction in court.

As an alternative to prosecution, a person who breaches a dog control order may be given an opportunity to pay a fixed penalty notice of £80 ,with a discount to £50. if paid within 10 days.

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