I’m going to resist using lines like “taking the next step in the dog mess issue” and instead be fairly dull and straight-forward about this one.

The council are currently consulting on introducing dog control orders to various parts of Wandsworth.  These orders will add further conditions and controls on dog ownership in the borough and give the council a little more power to deal with problem dog owners.

Many people will be surprised that the rules don’t already exist.  For example, one suggested rule is that dogs should always be on the lead on the public highway.  At the moment dogs need to be under control, but this does not necessarily mean on a leash.  Another will make it an offence for a dog to foul the road.  While it’s already an offence to let a dog foul the pavement, it’s legally (though I would say not morally) absolutely fine to drag the dog to the gutter and then just walk away once its finished.

I think it’s a shame these are necessary.  I instinctively dislike anything that introduces more regulation, and  think it’s a shame we have come to the stage that we need to introduce rules that affect all dogs owners when the vast majority have never caused a problem of any sort with their dog.

Of course you might disagree with all or some of the proposed rules and that’s the point of consultation.  The council’s website provides full details of the rules and how you can comment.  And I’d be interested in hearing your views via the comments.

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