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Issues with dogs are on the decline in County Durham

by Craig Martin on 16 March, 2020

Work to encourage dog owners to be more responsible has seen a welcome fall in the number of complaints about dog fouling and stray dogs in County Durham.

Durham County Council launched a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in 2017 to tackle issues such as dog fouling and stray dogs, making it an offence to allow a dog to stray, failing to keep a pet on a lead, or allowing dogs into designated play areas.

Since then, reported cases of dog fouling have fallen by 45 per cent.

As well as a welcome fall in those reports, the order has had a positive effect on the number of stray dogs found across the county.

Since 2015/6, the number of strays reported has fallen by more than a third and the number of strays taken to kennels in the last year was 658, a 44 per cent reduction.

The PSPO is one of several measures introduced to tackle these issues. The civic pride team regularly visit schools in the county to talk about the importance of being a responsible dog owner.

Dog walkers are also encouraged to sign up to the council’s green dog walker scheme, pledging to always clean up after their pet and carry extra dog bags for other walkers who might not have one to hand.

Neighbourhood Protection Manager, Ian Hoult, said: “We’re obviously pleased with this reduction in dog-related issues. It reflects the hard work that we’ve undertaken to keep our streets safe and clean. However, we do understand that these issues remain a concern for communities and we would reassure people that we will continue to focus our efforts on these.

“I’d also stress that we know the vast majority of people are responsible dog owners and that our work aims to tackle the minority. That’s why we will be continuing to engage with residents and encouraging them to sign up to the green dog walker scheme. We’d also encourage residents to let us know about anyone who isn’t being a responsible pet owner, either by calling us our going onto our website.”

   2 Comments

2 Responses

  1. Bongo says:

    Can you tell me this? What is ‘green’ about owning a dog and going for a walk compared to a counterfactual of not owning a dog and going for a walk?
    It’s absurd.
    Then again you do support membership of an organisation whose primary fiscal purpose is a centralised system of subsidies by land area to farm-land owners, which results in meat production ( which is an input to pet food ) getting an implicit subsidy compared to not-meat production of food which uses less land area per Calorie or unit of protein produced.
    Yet more absurdity.
    Are you or a close family member a dog-owner by any chance Craig?
    I’d much prefer to see wolves come back into the UK myself, keep the red deer population down, and have the tourists from Japan and the USA come to watch the kill.
    No tourists come to the UK to watch dogs being walked last time I checked.

    • Craig Martin says:

      You make a very good point, it would be a lot ‘greener’ if people didn’t own dogs. But we live in a society in which people have the freedom to own animals, individual freedom is something I have a strong belief in. If they are going to own dogs we want them to look after them in the ‘greenest’ possible way. None of my close family or friends owns a dog. For the record, my partner’s grandmother does (closest family/friend although I’ll probably get told off for not putting them in that category).

      I do support the membership of such an organisation. But the thing I hate most about it is the common agricultural policy and believe it needs to be abolished. To add to your comments it causes massive suffering in Africa who’s farming industry is unable to compete against this.

      The introduction of wolves to France I believe has had a positive effect.

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