Dog ban proposed for council parks

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

THIRTY children's play parks in this area could become dog-free areas.

Council is considering imposing a ban on all dogs, on a lead or roaming, from its parks. If a dog is found in one of these parks, its owner runs the risk of a hefty 80 fine.

Play parks in the Banbridge area have been proposed to be dog-excluded areas as they are deemed to be "sensitive areas" where the "exclusion of dogs may be beneficial to potential safety and health reasons".

Presently the control of dogs in parks is managed under the byelaws of the former Banbridge District Council however by implementing a Dog Control Order it means that the council can "provide a more modern enforcement approach... as it allows for the issue of a fixed penalty notice were offences are detected".

Councillors who sit on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council's environmental services committee heard more about the radical idea last Tuesday (1 November).

Council has proposed that if and when this new order is approved, anyone caught with their dog in these areas would be issued with a fixed penalty notice of 80.

If they fail to pay this it would result in court proceedings where the maximum fine would be 1000.

However, council has yet to decide if dogs should be excluded from recreational areas in the council area.

It was announced at the meeting last week that the council has begun to explore whether or not dogs should be excluded from sports pitches, fenced multi-use games areas as a means to tackling dog fouling in these areas.

Councillors discussed the issue back in September and it has now been recommended that they undertake a four-week consultation exercise across the council area to seek the views of ratepayers and other interested parties.

Following the consultation period, the council will then consider any representations and decide whether or not to proceed with the order and the date when it will come into force.


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