Members of the public are being asked to share their views on whether controls to tackle dog fouling and irresponsible dog ownership in County Durham should be extended.
A new consultation has been launched, which asks members of the public if they support the extension of an existing public space protection order (PSPO) to prevent dog-related anti-social behaviour.
In 2017, Durham County Council introduced a PSPO that made it an offence to allow a dog to foul without picking it up or to allow a dog to stray. The order, which applies to all public spaces and play areas across the county, also enables authorised staff to request that dogs are put on leads when necessary.
The existing order, which applies to all dogs except trained assistance dogs, is due to expire in June and the council is proposing to extend the controls for a further three years.
Since the introduction of the order the council has seen:
• A 32 per cent reduction in stray dog reports
• A 45 per cent reduction on dog fouling service requests
• An 18 per cent reduction in dog fouling warden investigations
Ian Hoult, the council’s Neighbourhood Protection Manager, said: “Despite the improvements we have made, we continue to receive service requests about dog fouling and members of the public tell us that dog-related anti-social behaviour remains a key area of concern for our communities.
“Extending the current PSPO for a further three years would enable us to continue to make improvements, working in partnership with parish and town councils and communities across the county.”
Residents have until 10pm on Friday 24 April 2020 to have their say, with the proposed changes due to come into effect from June.
Feedback on the proposed extension can be submitted online at www.durham.gov.uk/consultation
Durham County Council was also asked by Seaham Town Council to consider introducing a seasonal ban for dogs on Seaham beaches. After careful consideration, the county council has chosen not to pursue this at the current time.