Thursday, 27 January 2011

Councillor to meet dog walkers over new control orders

A meeting is being set up to discuss concerns voiced by professional dog walkers in Leeds over new powers limiting the number of dogs walked at the same time to four.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services at Leeds City Council, has agreed to meet a group of people who walk dogs for a living to discuss the issue with them after they contacted him.

New dog control orders coming into force in the city on February 1 are aimed at clamping down on nuisance or dangerous behaviour.

Council staff will be able to tell owners of those causing a nuisance to put them on leads and dogs will also be excluded from play areas in some parks. Fines can be issued to back up the action if needed.

Under the new rules, the council would have the power to fine people walking more than four dogs if officers felt the dogs were behaving in a dangerous or disruptive manner. The limit of four was chosen after 68% of people who responded said that was their preferred maximum.

Cllr Murray said:

“I am concerned to hear that some dog walkers feel that the new orders may affect their business and I am keen to meet them to discuss the issue and listen to any suggestions they may have.

“The new orders are all about controlling dog behaviour, particularly when they’ve behaving dangerously. This gives officers the ability to do something about that, as well as in cases when they may be fouling or causing damage, as supported by our public consultation.

“However, we want to support people in their businesses and I want to talk through dog walkers’ concerns with them and see how we can take this forward together.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335