North Down Borough Council has launched a consultation about how far to take its new powers to deal with dogs.
The council is proposing to introduce new dog control orders with the powers it has received under the Clean Neighbourhoods -amp; Environment Act. These Orders, when enacted, will introduce certain additional controls over dogs in public places and aim to deal more effectively with dog fouling.
Borough Inspector David Brown said: "The powers being considered here will put a stronger responsibility on dog owners when walking their dogs to have them under control using a lead and to ensure that they remove any dog fouling.
"We are consulting on these new powers over a four week period as we appreciate that there will be strong interest from both dog owners and those members of the public who regularly use our parks and open spaces but who do not own a dog. We are very happy to receive written comments between now and November 15 and all views will be considered."
The proposals will introduce six orders, namely: Fouling of land by Dogs Order, which will require anyone in charge of a dog which fouls, to clean it up immediately.
Dog Exclusion (Playgrounds) Order, whereby the person in charge of a dog will be guilty of an offence if they take their dog into, or permit it to enter, any of the playgrounds specified in the order.
Dogs on Leads (Promenades and Gardens) Order, which requires dogs to be walked on a lead in certain parks, promenades and piers.
Dogs on Leads (Beaches) Order, which will apply to parts of Ballyholme and Groomsport beaches from June 1 to August 31 each year and between the hours of 11am and 8pm, as dog owners will be required to keep their dogs on a lead on these beaches during the times stated.
Dogs on leads by direction (Parks -amp; Playing Fields) Order, whereby in specified parks and playing fields, a dog owner may be required to place their dog onto a lead by an authorised officer of the Council, if the officer believes that such restraint is reasonably necessary to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other persons or animal.
Dogs (Maximum number) in Parks Order, which will prevent a person bringing more than two dogs into a certain specified parks, promenade and piers.
It is further proposed that the penalty for breaching a Dog Control Order will be a fine of up to -pound;1,000.
The draft Orders are currently out to public consultation. If any member of the public wishes to view the Orders, they can be inspected at Bangor Town Hall, Monday to Friday between the 10am and 4pm. A copy can be obtained at the Town Hall on payment of a fee of 50p.