How to make a Dog Control Order

Town/Parish Council Guide Under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 Town and Parish Councils are able to make Dog Control Orders (DCO's) covering land that they own/manage.

Following a single issue panel report on dog control orders, it was decided that Cornwall Council would not be bringing in any new control orders, although would support Town and Parish Council should they wish to bring in a local order.

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This allows them to apply controls to:

  • Ban dogs from certain areas
  • Restrict the times dogs are allowed in certain areas
  • Ensure dogs are kept on leads at all times
  • Limit the number of dogs each person can be in control of in a set area

There are already blanket DCO's for dog fouling and dogs on leads by direction order (an order that means that if any authorised officer requires a dog to be put on a lead - it is an offence not to comply) in place for the whole of Cornwall.

Should a Town or Parish Council wish to bring in their own order, below is a guide that can be followed in order to ensure that the necessary steps have been followed.

Identify need for Dog Control Order i.e. through audit trail such as complaints, matters raised etc having regard to DEFRA guidance

Supporting documents

It is recommended that you carry out an informal consultation survey to identify community views on issues at an early stage, which often makes the process smoother and identifies potential options prior to more formal consultations.

Supporting documents

PA Town / Parish Clerk on behalf of Town / Parish Council to consult with Public Health and Protection and Legal Services.

Also to ensure they have liaised with landowner if land not owned by Parish Council

Full Town/Parish Council to get minute authorising them to make a Dog Control Order

Draft Order in the prescribed format for Dogs on Leads Order, Maximum Number of Dogs or Dogs Exclusion order and attach plans, and also draft Public Notice.
Send copy to Public Health and Protection for them to place on Cornwall Council's website.

Supported documents

Notify Parish Councillors and Ward Member of proposed Order and send them copy.

Send land owner copy if land not owned by Parish Council.

Supported documents

Publish Notice in local newspaper in same area as land affected by proposed Order inviting representations

Supported documents

If proposed Order applies to access land appropriate access authority must be consulted and also local access forum

e.g. Countryside Agency, National Park Authority, Countryside Access Forum.

At end of consultation period of at least 28 days all representations, letters of support and letters of objection must be considered, collated and appended to a draft report.

Draft report then sent to Legal Service for their consideration and finalisation.

Supported documents

If after considering representations the decision is taken to significantly amend the proposed Order then the procedure must be started again, with a new notice describing the amended proposal and a further 28 days for representations

Town / Parish Clerk to report to full Council to approve the making of a Dog Control Order, having regard also to MOU with Cornwall Council

Supported documents

If decision is taken to make the Order the date of commencement must be at least 14 days after the day on which the Order was made.

Send a copy of the sealed Order to Legal Services, and also a copy to Public Health and Protection for them to place on Cornwall Council’s website

Not less than 7 days before the day on which the Order is to come into force:

  1. Place a notice in local newspaper stating Order has been made, where it may be inspected and copies of it obtained.
  2. Where practicable place signed summarising Order in conspicuous positions
  3. Put information relating to Notice on Parish Council and Cornwall Council website
  4. If Order applies to access land send copy of Notice to access authority and local access forum and Countryside Agency

The area must be marked using appropriate signs - this is normally at every main entrance to an area and there must be sufficient signage to ensure that people are aware of the order.

Examples of signage  :

 

Authorised Officers are able to issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for offences, once they have been on a DEFRA approved training course.  Cornwall Council are currently the only Council in the Country that are approved to train Town and Parish Councils to serve fixed penalty notices.

A Fixed Penalty Notice is a method of discharging liability for certain offences by paying a set penalty amount, in order to prevent an issue from going to Court, where an offender could potentially face a much larger fine if found guilty.

 

Should you be interested in having some of your Town/Parish staff trained - please contact us at publicprotection@cornwall.gov.uk for more details.