Release Date: 30/05/2012
Richmond Council last night (Tuesday 29 May) passed a ruling to crack down on the number of dogs that can be walked on public land.
Members of the Regulatory Committee agreed to restrict the number of dogs that can be walked on public land by individuals in a bid to tackle the problem of people walking numerous dogs at a time. A new Dog Control Order is expected to be implemented on 1 July restricting the number of dogs people can walk at a time to six.
The decision was made following a public consultation earlier this year on proposals to extend existing dog control orders, in an effort to ensure problems with irresponsible dog walkers were tackled swiftly and effectively. The consultation was launched after an increase in the number of issues concerning dogs that are not properly under control. As neighbouring boroughs extended their own dog control orders, Richmond upon Thames has seen a spike in the number of people walking multiple dogs in the borough, in some cases up to fifteen at a time.
The original plans proposed that dog walkers would be banned from taking more than four dogs onto any Council land – including parks and open spaces. Over 286 people submitted individual responses to these plans along with a petition with 1231 signatures. The majority of the submissions acknowledged the number of dogs should be limited, however it was felt four dogs was too restrictive.
Following a review of the consultation feedback, the Council’s Regulatory Committee agreed to pass an amended proposal to limit the number of dogs to six.
Councillor Virginia Morris, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Most owners are conscientious; however, a small minority is not and this spoils the enjoyment of our open spaces and parks for many others. Dog owners are important users of our parks and Richmond Council promotes and encourages responsible dog ownership.
“We listened to our residents who agreed there does need to be some restrictions on the number of dogs individuals can walk. However, many felt that the original proposals were too restrictive and therefore we have reached a sensible compromise by agreeing to limit the number of dogs to six. This will enable residents with dogs to continue to enjoy our parks, whilst still being able to exercise proper control of the animals.”