North Devon residents are being reminded to share their views in a public consultation aiming to deal with irresponsible dog owners as it is ending soon.

North Devon Council is consulting on plans to introduce a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to introduce controls to help address antisocial behaviour associated with dog waste and uncontrolled dogs, whilst still providing  open spaces where owners can freely exercise their dogs. 

The nine week consultation ends on Sunday 9 August and aims to gain the community's views on some proposed district-wide control measures at sports pitches, cemeteries, enclosed play areas and high tide roosting sites and also on specific locations where dog fouling and dog control are a problem. This includes some beaches, the Tarka Trail, and Braunton Burrows.

The measures would give each private landowner discretion on how they wished the PSPO to be enforced and failure to follow the controls could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100.

North Devon Council's Lead Member for Environment, Netti Pearson, says: “We know there are lots of positive public health, social and economic benefits of dog ownership and recognise that the majority of dog owners are responsible and have well behaved pets. This consultation simply aims to address an ongoing problem among a small minority in our district who unfortunately persist with the antisocial behaviour associated with dog fouling and lack of control.

"We want to hear as many views from as many of our residents and visitors as possible in this consultation. Some people may have ideas for dealing with these issues that we haven't thought of and we really want to hear them. Please take the time to share your thoughts on how we can deal with this issue."

The council has taken guidance from The Kennel Club, which has made recommendations for local authorities to reduce the risk of unfair and disproportionate controls on responsible dog walkers. The council is also interested in exploring alternative non-regulatory alternatives and is asking residents and visitors to share their ideas in the consultation.

The consultation is open now and can be found on the council's website: www.northdevon.gov.uk/consultations.