Dog controls extended for another three years in RCT
Anthony Lewis – Local Democracy Reporter
Dogs are set to remain banned from sports pitches in Rhondda Cynon Taf for another three years.
A report to cabinet on Monday, September 18 recommends they agree to the extension of the orders with one covering the whole of RCT and the other related to Aberdare Park with a specific requirement for a person in charge of a dog to keep that dog on a lead at all times in the park.
The report said there was “overwhelming public support” in the consultation for the extension of the dog control PSPOs for Rhondda Cynon Taf for a further three year period from October 1 with 88.3% of those who responded to the on line survey saying they supported the council’s approach to dealing with dog fouling and more than 89% agreeing with each element of the PSPOs.
The two Public Spaces Protection Orders related to dog controls within Rhondda Cynon Taf are due to expire on September 30, 2023. At any point before expiry of these orders, the council can vary or extend them by up to three years if it considers it necessary to prevent the original behaviour the
orders were attempting to address from occurring or recurring.
The PSPOs currently include:
- A ban on dog fouling in all public places within Rhondda Cynon Taf.
- A requirement for a person in charge of a dog to keep that dog on a lead at all times in cemeteries owned and/or maintained by the council.
- A requirement for a person in charge of a dog at all times to carry bags or other suitable means for the disposal of dog faeces.
- A requirement for a person in charge of a dog to follow a direction given by an authorised officer, if they deem reasonably necessary, that a dog be put and kept on a lead in a public place within Rhondda Cynon Taf for such period and/or in such circumstances as directed by the authorised officer.
- A ban on dogs from all schools, playgrounds and marked sports pitches owned and/or maintained by the council and certain community council sites as set out in the order.
A team of wardens patrol RCT with powers to enforce the PSPOs and the penalty for committing an offence of failing to comply with a PSPO without reasonable excuse is a maximum fine of £1,000 at the moment or a fixed penalty of £100.
The council has issued more than 1,000 on the spot fines for breaches of the dog control PSPOs since their introduction in October 2017.
RCT council said it receives many complaints each year about dog fouling in public places and despite the introduction of the dog control PSPOs some playing fields need to be checked for dog fouling before they can be used and sometimes people wanting to use the playing fields for sport are doing this.
The report said: “Despite the introduction of the orders in October 2017 and their renewal in October 2020 there remains a minority of dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs or keep them under control.
“Officers therefore consider it vital the orders, which would ordinarily expire on 30th September 2023, are renewed for a further period in order to maintain the significant benefits the orders have had in relation to dog fouling and ensure appropriate powers remain in place to deal with the minority who continue to flout the laws.”
It added that dog control PSPOs were not put forward as a means of unduly restricting the exercising or recreation of dogs across RCT but to address the detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the area caused by the irresponsible behaviour of a small minority of dog owners; and to set out a clear standard of behaviour to which all dog owners were required to adhere.
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