Thursday | December 12 | 2013
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Dog Control Orders
These laws come from the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, and give Councils the power to make orders regarding dogs in their area.
They are called dog control orders (DCO's). The power to make such an order is contained in Section 55(1) of the Act, and it enables them to be made by primary or secondary authorities ie. not just district councils (primary) but also by parish councils (secondary).
Five offences may be prescribed in a DCO:-
The penalty for an offence is a fine of up to £1,000 OR a fixed penalty may be offered as an alternative.
There must be consultation undertaken before a DCO is made and the publicising of a DCO after it has been made. A notice must be published in a local newspaper circulating in the area and invite representations and at least 28 days must be given for replies. If an order is actually made, another notice must be published in a local newspaper giving at least 7 days notice of the DCO coming into force. It should also be on the Council's website (if they have one).
'Where practicable' signs must be placed giving a summary of the DCO.
In common with the pre-existing dog-fouling regime, a DCO can only apply to land which is open to the air (on at least one side) eg. Bus shelter; and to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access. However, the restrictions in the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 do not apply to DCO's.
An officer of a secondary authority can issue a fixed penalty notice in his area for the breach of a DCO made by the primary authority.
The offences don't apply to working dogs or guide dogs "where appropriate"
There are defences to the offences:-