New East Devon dog controls come into force

PUBLISHED: 11:18 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:20 17 May 2017

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District bosses say they hope new controls on dogs will encourage more responsible behaviour from owners.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order on dogs, following a consultation at the start of the year.

Under the new order, dogs must be kept on leads on roads and pavements.

Other rules, some of which transfer over from previous controls, include that no dogs are allowed in any council-maintained children’s play areas and some other play areas and playing fields, that all dog owners must always pick up after their dogs wherever they walk in public, that dogs must be kept on leads on most formal garden areas, in some playing fields and on the walkways next to East Devon beaches, that dogs are not allowed on the main areas of the town beaches of Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Beer’s west beach and Seaton during the summer, and that dog walkers are not allowed to be in control of more than six dogs at one time and they must put their dogs on a lead if asked to do so.

EDDC’s chief executive Mark Williams said: “We feel strongly that it is important to encourage responsible dog ownership across East Devon, because badly behaved dogs can seriously impact on the pleasure of other people while they are trying to enjoy the wonderful countryside and coastal amenities offered by East Devon.

“If we hadn’t introduced this new dog PSPO, then the old dog control order would simply have become a PSPO by default with no opportunity to make any improvements or amendments.”

The council says enforcement of the PSPO will be ‘proportionate’, and will focus on advice and education, although fixed penalties of £80 will be issued in cases where there is sufficient evidence of ‘harm and consequence’.

The PSPO will be enforced by council officers, along with the much-publicised ban on feeding seagulls which has also been introduced.

The council was required to review its dog controls by this year under the terms of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

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