New rules for dog owners

MBTC-08-01-13- Dog enforcements. Russell Park. Bedford.
MBTC-08-01-13- Dog enforcements. Russell Park. Bedford.

Dog owners in Bedford Borough could be slapped with a £75 fine if they refuse to put their pet on a lead.

The new rules, which are expected to be enforced in February, would apply to all areas of the borough including parks, if a dog was judged by a council officer to be acting dangerously.

Council chiefs are also bringing in measures to force owners to put their dog on a lead in cemeteries, and not take them at all to children’s play areas.

Dave Hodgson, the Mayor of Bedford, said: “A common sense approach will be taken which, for example, excludes dogs from play areas and requires them to be on a lead in cemeteries. This is absolutely not about restricting responsible dog owners, who will of course still be able to use and enjoy local parks and open spaces.

“The designations which will apply in different areas around the Borough will be consistent with the approach set out clearly in the new Dog Control Orders Policy, which received overwhelming public support following consultation.”

The council conducted a public Dog Control Orders consultation in early 2012. These orders were approved by the Executive in June 2012 and replace legislation in a way that borough chiefs claim is clearer.

All areas of the borough where dogs must not go, or must be put on a lead will be revealed in maps due to be released soon. The council also claims that the areas will be clearly signposted.

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