Irresponsible dog owners could face fines or court

PUBLISHED: 09:30 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:13 10 June 2010

Dog owners could face steep fines – with pets banned from parks and public places – if a district council dog control scheme gains public support.

Dog owners could face steep fines - with pets banned from parks and public places - if a district council dog control scheme gains public support.

East Devon District Council is holding a public consultation to gauge people's views over its plans to ban dogs from 19 play parks throughout Brixington, Littleham and Withycombe and force owners to keep their dogs on leads on council-owned land.

The council's proposal clamps down on irresponsible owners who fail to clean up after their pets - and legally restricts the number of dogs which can be supervised by one person to no more than six.

Owners or dog handlers failing to comply will be deemed 'guilty' of an offence and fined.

A district council spokesman said: "Many of the proposed orders are for sites that are used as children's play areas or sports pitches.

"The aim is to encourage responsible dog ownership and to ensure that potentially harmful dog mess is not present in these areas, where it could harm children or adults who came into contact with it.

"The penalty for allowing a dog to foul and not picking up after the animal would be an on-the-spot fine of £80 for the first offence.

"Anyone opting to go to court or re-offending could be liable to a fine of up to £1,000."

As well as the existing seasonal restrictions on Exmouth's main beach, banning dogs from May until October, the council wants to impose a dog exclusion order on Exmouth's Carter Avenue and Imperial Recreation Ground play areas.

The rules also apply to Phear Park skate park, BMX area and play park, Withycombe Raleigh football field, play areas at Cherriswood Avenue, Ashfield Close, Ivydale and the fields at Brixington Lane.

In Littleham, play areas at The Crescent and West Down Lane are also proposed to become dog-free zones.

In Brixington the council plans to roll out the ban to play areas at Durham Close, Truro Drive, Keats Close, Poets Corner, Brittany Road, Byron Way, Betjemin Drive, and St Sevan Way.

Owners will be expected to keep their dogs on leads through The Pavilion grounds, Manor Gardens, The Strand gardens, Carter Avenue and Warren View playing fields, and land surrounding the children's play area at Truro Drive.

The district council plans to pass powers giving its employees the authority to order dog owners to keep their pets on the lead.

Owners failing to clean up after their dogs will be fined or face court.

Only disabled dog owners, or dogs which assist the disabled, will be exempt from picking up after their pet.

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