A Dog Control Public Space Protection Order, to control dog behaviours such as dog fouling and restricting the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at any one time, is now being enforced.

Last year, Richmond Council approved a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to address anti-social activities in public spaces, including flying of drones, using BBQs, starting fires and causing damage to council property.

A second PSPO set out a limit on the number of dogs to a maximum of 4 dogs that can be walked by one person at any one time.

From October 2017, the Council granted a ‘grace period’ where no enforcement of the order took place. This period has ended and the Council will now be enforcing the order.

The Council has also now issued 11 licences for professional dog walkers to permit them to walk up to 6 dogs on one of 6 sites across the borough.

Borough residents who own more than 4 dogs were also able to apply for a permit which allows them to walk up to 6 dogs at any one time.

Now that the enforcement is live, the Council will monitor the implementation of the order and, in January, will conduct an internal review of the number of licences and the impact that their introduction has made. This will include consideration of the number of enforcements, number of applications for licences, public feedback received since the licences were introduced and feedback from Parks ‘Friends of Groups’.

The Council will publish the outcome of the review via the Council’s website, once the review is complete.

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Dog owners are significant users of our parks and Richmond Council promotes and encourages responsible dog ownership. Most owners are conscientious; however, a small minority are not and this spoils others’ enjoyment of our open spaces.

“The control order is intended to ensure that everyone exercises proper control over their dogs in the borough’s parks and open spaces. The licences are intended to support local professional dog walking businesses and to provide them with the opportunity to operate within the Borough.

“We are now enforcing our restrictions and as part of this process we will be carrying out a review to consider whether or not any further revisions are necessary. We will feed back to residents once this is complete.”

For more information, go to: www.richmond.gov.uk/dog_control_pspo