Bone of contention

Dog walking. INNT 05-100-CON
Dog walking. INNT 05-100-CON

AREAS in Coleraine Borough Council could become dog free zones.

New legislation came into force last April under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act under which Coleraine Borough Council will be able to make Dog Control Orders.

The new regime means that it is an offence for dog owners not to remove faeces; not keeping a dog on a lead in a designated area; not putting or keeping a dog on a lead when directed to by an authorised officer; permitting a dog to enter land from which they are excluded and taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.

Kieran Doherty, Director of Environmental Health told the Leisure and Environment committee of Coleraine Borough Council last Tuesday that the new legislation would be like a traffic light system - red is a no go area for dogs; amber indicates that dogs are allowed but only when on a lead, whilst green is an area designated for dogs.

Members agreed to proceed with the new control orders.

A consultation will be begin with communities in each of the affected areas in the near future.

UUP councillor David Harding, who is also a vet, welcomed the new orders. He said: “They are very straightforward.”

“Dog ownership brings a boon to our society, not only in social ways but in responsibility.

“We need to promote areas where dogs can go - socialisation is very important for dogs.”