Dogs Legislation and Powers

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Below is an explanation of each of the dog control orders.

What is a Dog control order?

For a long time the Council has had byelaws in place to take enforcement action in various parts of the Borough namely the parks and open spaces. Since the introduction of the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act (2005) from April 2006 the local authority (primary authority) and parish councils (secondary authority) have had the power to introduce dog control orders.

These can be in the following categories:

1. Failing to remove dog faeces
2. Not keeping a dog on a lead
3. Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
4. Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded

The new legislation is designed to simplify the current arrangements for controlling dogs. The dog control order will specify the land to which the order relates as well as the times during which the order will apply. In practice, this means that an authority can designate any area of land open to the air to which the public has access (including any such land within its boundary) as being land on which specified dog offences will apply. You can see these areas clearly marked on the maps associated with the Dog Control Orders.

Why do we need dog control orders?

There are many dog owners across Copeland and the majority act responsibly and keep their dog or dogs under control which includes clearing up after their dog in a public place, ensuring dogs are kept on a lead in public places and maintaining their dogs behaviour is in accordance with the law.

Unfortunately the small number of inconsiderate dog owners who don't keep their dog or dogs under control and clear up after their dog causes many problems for the community. Dog owners have the right to enjoy their pets and to exercise them however residents and in particular children also have a right to be able to enjoy a clean safe environment and be able to access areas, particularly recreational areas free from dogs or free from uncontrolled dogs.

What are the offences and charges?

The legislation covers all areas which are open to the air, and to which the public are entitled to have access (with or without payment).

  • Failure to clean up after your dog has fouled may result in a fixed penalty fine of £80, which you are given 14 days to pay. 
  • Failure to pay a fixed penalty, or if people are caught re-offending, will result in further action being taken in the Magistrates court where a maximum fine of £1,000 plus costs can be imposed. This legislation can also be enforced by the Police Community Support Officers.

What exemptions are there to the legislation?

  • The person has a reasonable excuse for failing to clean up the faeces or the owner/occupier or other person or authority having control of the land has consented (generally or specifically) to his/her failing to clean up the faeces.
  • The person in charge of the dog is registered blind.
  • The person has a disability which affects his mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, in respect of a dog trained by a prescribed charity upon which they rely for assistance.

What is not considered a reasonable excuse?

  • Ignorance of the law.
  • Having no bag with which to clean.
  • Being unaware that your dog has fouled
  • Lack of signs

Appealing the Fixed penalty notice

 Any appeals must be put in writing to:

Enforcement,Copeland Borough Council,Whitehaven Commercial Park,Moresby Parks,Whitehaven,Cumbria, CA28 8YD 

All Dog Related Orders:

Statutory legislation

Related fees and charges

Published: 18 June 2013 - 2:34pm