A public consultation on Thanet council plans to create new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) at sites across the isle that will either ban dogs completely or bring in strict on-lead rules closes on Thursday (September 7).
The PSPO areas, expected to come into force next month, will be enforced with on the spot £80 fines for anyone:
- Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded. These exclusion areas include fenced children’s play areas, cemeteries, ball courts and tennis courts.
- Not having a dog on a lead between the hours of 10am – 6pm from 1stMay – 30th September in the following locations: West Bay, St Mildred’s Bay, Westbrook Bay, Stone Bay, Botany Bay, Joss Bay. Louisa Bay, Minnis Bay (part), Walpole Bay, Viking Bay.
- Not keeping a dog on a lead 24 hours a day in the following locations: Pegwell Bay (designated nature reserve), Margate Main Sands, Ramsgate Main Sands.
- Failing to remove faeces
- Not having a suitable item to pick up dog faeces with
- Not putting and keeping a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
Thanet council says the PSPO, which follows the introduction of a dog dna scheme in July, will help it simplify existing rules, replace old legislation – which expires later this year- and control irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up dog faeces or control their dogs.
A spokesman said: “This zero tolerance approach and enable us to take action and fine the minority of people who blight our wonderful beaches and open spaces.”
Views on the PSPO introduction – not the dog DNA scheme – can be submitted via firstname.lastname@example.org before 7 September 2017. A decision on implementing a Public Space Protection Order will be taken by Cabinet on 19 September. If approved, the PSPO would come into effect on 16 October.
Serious concerns over Dog DNA registration scheme
The Kennel Club says it has serious concerns about proposals by Thanet council to make dog DNA registration compulsory. The dog DNA registration scheme – which is currently voluntary – was launched in July.
The Kennel Club has questioned how the local authority would plan to enforce the registration scheme properly with only one enforcement officer, as is currently the case.
The club believes says the scheme would fail or cause public outcry if safeguards are not put in place for dog owners who may rely on other people to walk their pets and who would be subject to a fine as a result of fouling. They say it raises the question of who would be fined – the dog owner or the person in charge of the dog at the time.
Other unanswered questions include what would happen if faeces found was left by a dog owner whose dog’s DNA was not registered, what steps visitors to the area would need to take if they were in Thanet with their dogs but did not live there and what steps would be taken to ensure people register their correct address and update details. The club has asked what measures would be in place to stop people sharing, passing on or copying the tags which show they are DNA registered, whether or not exemptions would be in place for those physically unable to pick up after their dog due to a disability and what considerations have been given to data protection and whether or not the database would comply with ISO standards.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “Although we appreciate all the work that Thanet are undertaking in helping dog owners, we do have serious concerns about any potential move to make DNA registration compulsory for dog owners in the area. The Kennel Club is very much in favour of targeted measures to deal with irresponsible dog owners but simply does not believe that a DNA registration scheme would be effective.
“We would like to continue working with the council, who are looking into various means of tackling the issue of dog fouling in the area and will continue to assist them with this, however we fear that compulsory DNA registration may not be a reasonable and proportionate response to this problem and would encourage the use of other, more cost effective methods of targeting irresponsible dog owners rather than the entire dog owning population of Thanet and visitors to the area.
“We would urge anyone with concerns about the council’s proposals to join KC Dog, the Kennel Club’s dog owners group, to keep up-to-date with future developments in this area.”