Four dog control orders are being introduced by Central Bedfordshire Council after extensive consultation with the public, town and parish councils, land managers and other organisations such as dog charities, to help improve its the environment for dog owners and other residents.
The orders, which will come into effect on Sunday, October 19, aim to cut down on amounts of dog mess, restrict dogs from places such as children’s playgrounds and ensure that people keep their dogs on a leads in certain areas including cemeteries and where there are marked sports pitches.
Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “Central Bedfordshire Council seeks to promote responsible dog ownership. I know that the majority of dog owners are very considerate towards others, and we hope that these new orders will help to encourage others to be just as responsible and caring.
“The aim is certainly not to put people off owning and walking dogs, but to help make our parks and countryside welcoming places for everyone.
“Dog fouling and irresponsible dog ownership can unfortunately put some people off using these areas – especially more vulnerable groups of society – so we hope that by introducing these new orders, we can improve the enjoyment of our green spaces for all residents and visitors.”
Two-thirds of the more than 500 people who completed an online questionnaire as part of the consultation said they were dog owners, and the majority of respondents backed introducing the control orders.
Cllr Spurr added: “These orders are designed to improve public health by reducing levels of potentially harmful dog waste and encouraging more people who may previously have been put off using our parks and countryside to take more exercise.
“Owning or walking a dog is a great incentive to get outside and exercise right through the year, and we hope that these new orders will encourage all residents to do just that.”