COVENTRY dog owners will have to keep their pets on a tighter leash from now on, as a new canine control order comes into effect.
Coventry City Council has released the details of their new dog control order, which will be introduced in parks and public areas across the city on Monday, June 15.
The new order dictates that dogs must be kept on a lead of no longer than two metres in certain public places including graveyards, sports pitches, and ‘clearly specified and signed areas in the city’s parks’.
It also reiterates former laws regarding dog fouling and restricts the maximum number of dogs to be walked together by one person to six.
The order comes after initial Council proposals, which sought to prevent dogs from running freely in any parks which contain sports pitches, were slammed by Coventry dog owners.
An online petition, signed by more than 4,000 people, described the changes as ‘draconian’ and accused the Council as acting upon new Government legislation without due cause.
Under the new order, dogs would only have to be kept on leads in parks containing sports pitches when officiated sports matches are taking place.
Craig Hickin, Head of Environmental Services at the Council, said the new order was not meant to catch people out, but was for the benefit for park users and other city dog owners.
Mr Hickin pointed out that the Council were not alone in implementing the controls, arguing that other local areas – including Rugby, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Birmingham and Warwick District Council – have had harsher dog control orders than Coventry, for much longer.
He added: “In the past we had limited resources to act on public complaints about dogs and their owners in public places.
“And it is only because we were getting complaints from members of the public that we have acted to implement these new orders.
“This isn’t ‘anti dog’.
“We are dealing with a real minority of dog owners who can’t be bothered and don’t respect the rules.
“If we get this right it will make it easier for responsible dog owners and Coventry residents to enjoy our public spaces.”
The new restrictions are as follows:
- A person will be guilty of an offence if a dog fouls on specified land.
- Dogs must be kept on a lead no longer than two metres in designated areas of the city.
- Dog owners must comply with any direction to put their dog on a lead given to them by an authorised officer of the Council.
- Dogs are excluded from clearly signposted children’s play areas; multi-use games area; enclosed sports courts and pitches; and sensitive nature or specific horticultural areas.
- The maximum number of dogs that can be walked by a single person at one time is six.
Areas of the city are affected by these rules:
- Highways and carriageways.
- Cyclelanes, footways and and footpaths.
- Grass verges which are maintained by the council and adjacent to carriageways or highways.
- Clearly specified and signposted areas in city parks.
- All churchyards and graveyards.
- Car parks, shopping centres and shopping precints which are open to the air.
- All sports grounds, fields, parks, and pitches, which are maintained by the local authority when in use for officiated sporting matches.