Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

£80 fine if you walk more than four dogs

Dog owners in Belfast will only be allowed to walk four dogs at once under new council rules.

A new order coming into force on April 1 will mean anyone caught in control of more than four dogs at a time will face an £80 fine.

If fines are not paid within 14 days the council can take you to court.

The order covers the entire Belfast City Council area, including all parks and open spaces, but will not apply to land owned by Department of Agriculture.

In a consultation launched last year, concerns had been raised by around 25 people about professional dog walkers.

According to the council minutes, some had claimed it "discriminated specifically against them".

During last night's council meeting the DUP's Christopher Stalford questioned what the effect would be on professional dog walkers.

The SDLP's Pat McCarthy, however, said they can only be insured to walk up to four dogs at one time.

The restriction on dog walking is the latest phase of a larger consultation on Dog Control Orders.

It was also proposed to exclude dogs from a number of council-owned areas included cemeteries, children's playgrounds, playing fields and pitches.

However, after receiving a "substantial" number of comments the council is reviewing its proposals and will soon be advertising a revised consultation with an extended deadline for comments.

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