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Dog Control Orders

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to ensure that local authorities introducing dog control orders adhere to his Department’s published guidelines of ‘proportionate and reasonable’ response to the need for controls. (125504)

Although Dog Control Orders do not need confirmation by the Secretary of State, local authorities (LAs) can only introduce them after completing the procedure prescribed in the Dog Control Order (Procedures) Regulations 2006. The procedure includes a period of local consultation and notification in the local press. This gives dog owners and local residents the opportunity to make representations to the LA on the proposed controls. In our guidance to LAs on this issue, we have strongly advised them to consider any representations prior to making the orders. They should also provide details of alternative areas in the vicinity where owners can exercise their dogs. Failure to take into consideration the views of the local community could lead to the control order being challenged in the courts.

Officers authorised by secondary authorities must also complete a training course, approved by DEFRA, before they are able to issue fixed penalty notices for Dog Control Order offences.