Reduce restrictions for dog walkers

It is increasingly hard for responsible dog owners to give their dogs the exercise they need. The previous government made it easier for local government to bring in new restrictions. This doesn't work. Local government often does not follow proper consultation, failing to consider the needs of dog owners. Dogs are simply banned from large areas with no thought for the impact. In effect, responsible dog owners are being punished because of an irresponsible minority. There would be outrage if cars were banned from any road on which more than say ten people broke the speed limit in a month !

This sort of approach just does not work. In 1980 or 1990 not all dog owners cleared up poo. Now virtually all do, yet there are more restrictions than ever before. The impact on more eldely dog owners (or those with older dogs), those without a car, or anyone who has rescued an ill-treated dog can be huge, yet there is no benefit to society. Otherwise unnecessary car journeys are hardly a good thing, either. 

The power of local government to ban dogs outright has been misused, and should be severely curtailed. Existing dog bans should be converted to 'dogs on leads' restictions – still a compromise – unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

If Britain really is to become a fair and open society, the attitude of a small minority should not be allowed to make a simply, everyday activity so hard for so many decent, responsible dog owners.

Why is this idea important?

It is increasingly hard for responsible dog owners to give their dogs the exercise they need. The previous government made it easier for local government to bring in new restrictions. This doesn't work. Local government often does not follow proper consultation, failing to consider the needs of dog owners. Dogs are simply banned from large areas with no thought for the impact. In effect, responsible dog owners are being punished because of an irresponsible minority. There would be outrage if cars were banned from any road on which more than say ten people broke the speed limit in a month !

This sort of approach just does not work. In 1980 or 1990 not all dog owners cleared up poo. Now virtually all do, yet there are more restrictions than ever before. The impact on more eldely dog owners (or those with older dogs), those without a car, or anyone who has rescued an ill-treated dog can be huge, yet there is no benefit to society. Otherwise unnecessary car journeys are hardly a good thing, either. 

The power of local government to ban dogs outright has been misused, and should be severely curtailed. Existing dog bans should be converted to 'dogs on leads' restictions – still a compromise – unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

If Britain really is to become a fair and open society, the attitude of a small minority should not be allowed to make a simply, everyday activity so hard for so many decent, responsible dog owners.