In 2017, Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) implemented a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Dog Control, lasting for a period of three years. The PSPO was renewed in October 2020 without amendments and is up for renewal by October 2023.
HDC is looking to renew the PSPO for Dog Control, following a 28-day consultation. The consultation process will include a variety of stakeholders, including Elected Members, partner agencies and members of the public. We will compile a summary of the findings after the consultation.
Reason for a PSPO for Dog Control:
In the financial year 2022/23, HDC received service requests in relation to 63 dog control incidents and 29 reports of heavily fouled areas (dog faeces). Compared to the previous financial year, this was an increase of 15 service requests for dog control issues and 12 for heavily fouled areas. Additionally, in 2022/23 we received 103 reports of stray dogs, an increase of 20 reports from the previous financial year.
In response to an increase in reporting of dog control issues, we are proposing a new Dog Control PSPO (2023) to act as a tool to tackle dog-related anti-social behaviour. The Dog Control PSPO (2023) aims to make the requirements of dog walkers/owners clearer, whilst also implementing new conditions to tackle out-of-control dogs. The conditions are to challenge the behaviours of irresponsible dog owners or those in charge.
Proposed PSPO Conditions:
If the proposed HDC PSPO for Dog Control (2023) is enacted, it will be an offence for a person, without reasonable excuse, to do anything that the person is prohibited from doing, and/or fail to comply with requirement(s) which the person is subject to.
A breach is a criminal offence. Enforcement Officers can issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 if appropriate. Offenders may receive a fine of up to £1,000 on prosecution.
Proposed changes on HDC's PSPO for Dog Control (2020):
- Improvement of the wording of the PSPO
- Inclusion of a 'Dogs out of control' condition
- Removal of the requirement for a lead to be of a certain length.
If approved, the following conditions are proposed:
- A requirement for a person responsible for dog(s) to remove its faeces from the land
- A requirement for a person responsible for a dog(s) to carry a suitable means for picking up dog faeces.
Dogs out of control
- A requirement for a person responsible for dog(s) to prevent them from damaging or destroying another animal
- A requirement for a person responsible for dog(s) to prevent causing alarm and/or distress to another person
- A requirement for a person responsible for dog(s) to prevent the dog(s) from repeatedly straying.
Dogs on leads
- A requirement for a person responsible for dog(s) to keep dogs on a lead in specified areas
- Upon request by an authorised officer.
Dog-prohibited locations (Schedule 2)
- By definition
- By specification.
Further details on the proposed conditions of the HDC PSPO for Dog Control (2023), including the land to which it applies, can be found in the accompanying PSPO document.
Any requests for new dog exclusion or dog on lead areas are outside the scope of this consultation. This process requires a separate request that would need to be submitted in writing for its own consultation process.