Tough new dog laws in force

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Stringent dog laws now in force in Chorley mean dogs are completely banned from all play areas, ball courts, and skate parks.

New dog control orders which came into force on Monday also mean dogs are required to be on a lead on all roads with a speed limit of less than 40mph, all publicly maintained footpaths, beer gardens, bus shelters, taxi ranks and cemeteries.

Powers given to council dog officers will also allow them to order any owner to put their dog on a two-metre lead in any open space, and at any time.

Anyone caught flouting the new laws will be given a £75 on-the-spot fine, which will increase to up to £1,000 if not paid within 14 days.

Coun Terry Brown, who is responsible for animal welfare and environmental crimes at Chorley Council, said they were not penalising ordinary dog owners, but ones who allow their dogs to be ‘running out of control’.

He said: “We will be taking a tough stance, but this will only be against those who let their pets cause a nuisance, whether that’s by fouling the pavements and park areas, or by running out of control off a lead.

“My message to those that continue to think they can get away with it is that you will be caught and we will take action.

“I also want the public to be our eyes and ears by reporting irresponsible dog owners to us in confidence and providing any information they have about dog owners who fail to clean up after their pet.”

The move comes after a number of high-profile dog attacks in Chorley, and Hillcrest Animal Hospital last week launching a programme to teach youngster how to behave around pets.

The council said it would also target people who don’t pick up after their pet - with more patrols by council officers and Police Community Support Officers around the clock.

Coun Brown,said: “What we are hearing from residents is that too many people aren’t taking responsibility for their dogs. The council puts a lot of effort into keeping the streets and parks clean only for it to be afflicted by dog muck.

“We will be taking direct action to tackle the problem and we’ll be using information from residents to target hotspot areas with enforcement officers carrying out patrols at all hours of the day.”

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