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Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry

15 October 2020

Elected Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee have approved the creation of three additional dog control orders for the Council area under The Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2011.

The Act enables Councils to create up to five separate orders to help manage issues associated with dogs in their area. 

The orders were originally recommended by members in February of this year, followed by a period of public consultation and will now come before Full Council for ratification at the end of this month.

The first two orders concern keeping dogs on leads on all shared pathways and greenways and owners putting dogs on a lead when instructed to by an authorised officer if it is deemed to be out of control.

Dogs will also be excluded from all Council owned play areas whether fenced or not as well as football fields, MUGA pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens.

A fixed penalty for breach of the orders have been set at a maximum of £80 with a provision for a discount to £50 for early payment.

Chair of the Health and Community Committee, Alderman Andrew McKane, welcomed the approval.

“I would like to welcome the additional dog orders which aim to be an effective additional tool in promoting responsible dog ownership in the Council area,” he said.

“Our primary consideration is to balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against the interests of those affected by the activities of dogs.

“We want the public, and in particular children, to have access to dog-free areas and areas where dogs are kept under strict control, while we also want to be able to allow those charge of dogs to have access to areas where they can exercise their dogs without undue restriction.

“The orders approved at this week’s meeting have been approved following two separate consultation exercises with stakeholders and members of the public, the responses to which were carefully considered before these three additional orders were brought forward to the committee for approval.”

The Dog Control Working Group has created an advisory leaflet for members of the public outlining the reasons why Council is bringing in Dog Control Orders; explaining what a dog control order is and what orders are being added as well as a comprehensive list of Questions and Answers which should deal with most queries.

At least seven days before the orders come into force, a notice will be published in local newspapers stating that the orders have been made and where they can be inspected and copies obtained. 

Council will also erect suitable signage, where applicable, to inform the public of the orders.

Dogs are currently not permitted in Council play areas, football pitches, multi-use games areas, artificial pitches, bowling greens or tennis courts; however, the proposed orders will give the Council more power to take action on breaches of these regulations.

Members of the public are strongly encouraged to contact Council to report dog straying and fouling at 028 71253253.

Full details of Council’s Dog Control services; including the new dog control orders, are available at derrystrabane.com/dogcontrol.

MIL OSI United Kingdom