You might have read in the press recently that dog walking has been banned or severely restricted in more than 3,300 parks and open spaces in England and Wales in the past two years.
In an endeavour to prevent ‘blanket bans’ or stringent restrictions unreasonably being imposed, The Kennel Club has just published a report-
Out of Order. The impact of restrictions on dogs and their owners
‘It details the problems that unreasonable Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) – introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, (and other similar restrictions) can create for responsible dog owners, and those who rely on assistance dogs.
It lists 11 recommendations that call on the Home Office to introduce clearer guidance and rules on the use of PSPOs so that the responsible majority aren’t unreasonably penalised by the actions of an irresponsible minority
Ultimately the report highlights the view of the Kennel Club that PSPOs should only be introduced after full and proper consultation and to address an issue causing a detrimental impact on public life (i.e. as a last resort); that they should be more limited in scope; more targeted towards irresponsible dog owners (as was the initial intention behind their introduction); and easier to challenge (since this is currently too expensive and time consuming for the vast majority of dog owners.)’ The Kennel Club Dog Owners’ Group
PSPOs are to repeal and replace Dog Control Orders (DCOs) by October 2017.
To request that the Home Office consider the Kennel Club’s recommendations, write to your local MP.
Let’s continue to protect the rights to where we can walk dogs and the privilege for off lead walking, in England and Wales, by being responsible dog walkers and considerate to other dog owners and members of the non-dog walking public.