The council plans to ban dogs from playgrounds, sports fields and ornamental gardens and to extend rules making owners responsible for cleaning up after their pets.Good news, surely (dog poo being a burning issue in local newspapers), albeit yet another example of collective punishment rather than focussing on those operating outside the rules?
But the RSPCA isn’t happy:
But a spokesman for the animal charity said: “Where dogs are excluded from open spaces or restricted, it is essential that local authorities ensure other open spaces in close proximity remain accessible to dogs on and off leads, to allow owners to fulfil their responsibilities.”That would be the ‘responsibilities’ stemming from the Bill the RSPCA forced the Labour government to bring in, would it?
According to Kath Airey, a trustee of Halifax and Huddersfield branch of the RSPCA, dogs enjoy socialising and playing, and it is important that they are able to express normal behaviour off the lead.And since when is that any business of the RSPCA? If control orders aren’t any of those things, it’s for the voters to deal with, not some charity.
“It is imperative that control orders are used sparingly and in a manner that is proportionate to the problem.”
She added: “It is important for a local authority to promote responsible dog ownership by encouraging training, proper care, microchipping and neutering, as well as ensuring owners clean up after their dogs.Who cares, frankly, what your society sees as a ‘better approach’? It’s an issue for the local voters, and that’s it.
“Our society sees this as a better means of tackling the problem of dog control in the long-term than issuing orders which could prove a strain on resources, with regard to the policing and enforcement, particularly if they are widely applied.”
According to the RSPCA, control orders should not become a blanket power that punishes the responsible majority of owners in an effort to tackle problems created by an irresponsible few.Which is why your Bill announced blanket measures, rather than simply address irresponsible pet owners, right? You bunch of hypocrites…
Head of housing and environment, Mark Thompson said the council was searching for a constructive balance between the needs of dog owners to exercise their pets and the preservation of a clean and healthy environment.Should have just told the RSPCA to butt out!