Creating a DNA database for the borough’s dog population is an option being considered as part of council measures to tackle irresponsible owners.
Residents are invited to have their say on a range of proposals – including tackling dog fouling – which could be enforced using £100 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN).
But one idea is to give a transgressor the alternative option of registering their mutt on a DNA database for a lower fine.
Building up such a database could help council officers identify irresponsible dog owners in future – if there is a match between the 'gift' left on the ground and the information relating to their pet on the computer.
Controversially, a second proposal would require any dog owner wishing to enter a specific area where there is persistent dog fouling to have their dog DNA tested and registered, at their own expense of about £35 per dog.
Cheshire West and Chester Council recognises most dog owners are responsible. However, dogs off the lead in public areas can cause nuisance or even injury to people or other animals and may cause road accidents.
Now people are being asked for their views on a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) including dog control measures enforceable using Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN), such as:
■ Dogs excluded and a no smoking rule in fully-enclosed children’s play areas containing play equipment to keep children safe, including from the risks of dog fouling (parasites from dog foul can cause blindness).
■ Dogs excluded from marked and maintained sports areas.
■ Dogs on leads at the request of an authorised officer – all public spaces, except Forestry Commission land.
■ Dogs on leads in cemeteries, the crematorium and Chester's Grosvenor Park.
■ When a lead is required it should be no longer than 2m in length.
■ Restrictions on the number of dogs to be walked at any one time.
■ Dog walkers to carry ‘sufficient means’ to pick up their dog foul.
There is a suggestion town and parish councils should also have the power to issue FPNs on land they own or manage.
Councillor Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “We know that problems caused by irresponsible dog owners are felt within communities across our borough and we are committed to tackling these issues.
“There have been many changes and improvements to our borough’s parks and play areas since original Dog Control Orders and Byelaws were introduced, including new ones that are not covered. We have many examples where the landscape has changed and old legislation is no longer practically enforceable.
“Our proposals will help keep our children and residents safe in their communities where there could be problems with dog fouling or irresponsible dog ownership. I hope as many residents as possible give their views.”
There are a variety of ways to give your views and the consultation will close on April 28, 2018:
■ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Telephone: 0300 123 8 123
■ Write to: Research and Intelligence Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port , CH65 0BE
The outcome of the public consultation will be considered by cabinet in autumn 2018.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. Existing control orders that were made under previous legislation can now be replaced by Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). PSPOs can be used to regulate activities in particular public places that can have a detrimental effect on the local community.