Consultation extended to allow all views to be heard

IT is encouraging to see so much coverage of the dog control proposals on which Camden Council is currently asking residents for their views (Angry dog lovers set to bite back, March 8). The public consultation outlines the various options, and we will

IT is encouraging to see so much coverage of the dog control proposals on which Camden Council is currently asking residents for their views (Angry dog lovers set to bite back, March 8).

The public consultation outlines the various options, and we will listen to people's views and carefully study the results before we make a decision.

We have extended the consultation until April 12 to give people even more opportunity to make their voices heard.

They can do this by visiting: www.camden.gov.uk/consults or by writing to Street Environment Services - Dog Control Order, Camden Town Hall, Argyle Street, London WC1H 8EQ.


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The proposals ask for residents' views on five possible offences:

Dog owners not picking up after their dogs.

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Not keeping a dog on a lead on Camden land - this does not include Hampstead Heath, Royal Parks such as Primrose Hill, or dog exercise areas in Camden parks.

Not putting a dog on a lead when asked to by an authorised officer.

Allowing dogs to enter excluded zones, for example a children's playground or picnic area in a park.

Being in charge of more than four dogs.

Most dog owners are extremely responsible, but some residents are concerned about dog mess on the streets or children's safety.

There were more than 80 incidents involving out of control dogs in Camden-run parks alone in 2006.

The current bylaws mean that the only enforcement option is to prosecute owners, meaning they could gain a criminal record. Possible options discussed in the dog controls consultation suggest issuing £80 on the spot fixed penalty notices, which if paid would mean owners would not be prosecuted.

If we introduced these powers we would propose using them in a proportionate way. For example, someone who allowed their dog to foul could be asked to pick up after it, but if they refused, then they could be issued with a fine.

And someone controlling their well-behaved dog on a quiet road would be left to do so, whilst someone whose dog was running around on a busy high street could be asked to put it on the lead.

These proposals are not about penalising responsible dog owners. The consultation is about asking residents what powers, if we were to introduce them, might be appropriate and we hope as many residents as possible will give us their views.

Cllr Keith Moffitt

Leader of Camden Council

Cllr Mike Greene

Executive Member for Environment, Camden Council

I think I have a solution for the battles between all the users of Hampstead Heath, including dog walkers and cyclists.

Let both of the latter groups have free use of the Heath for a week (real walkers should stay at home). We all know how much dogs love cyclists and vice versa so, after a few days, both problems could have been dealt with, or at least reduced to manageable proportions.

Of course a new generation of dogs (and cyclists!) would arise in due course, but perhaps it could become an annual event like bull running in Pamplona?

Then the commissioners could charge people to come, which would solve everybody's problems!

David Reed

Eton Avenue, NW3

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