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It's not just letting your dog of its lead that could land you with a heavy fine
You could be fined £100 for letting your dog off its lead, according to new dog regulations.
Changes to the dog control order scheme could give councils the power to heavily fine dog owners for a number of different things.
While the penalty is currently £80 for dog related offences, a change in the law means that the existing dog control orders will no longer be enforceable after October. Instead, they are being transferred into public space protection orders and the fine raised by £20 to £100.
What could I be fined for?
Under the regulations, dog owners could face fines if they:
1. Do not remove their dog’s waste
2. Do not keep their dogs on leads in public roads, pavements and verges
3. Allow their dogs into fenced children’s play areas
4. Take more than four dogs out for a walk at once in public
5. Fail to put a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an officialHow often are postmen and women attacked by dogs?
The news comes as the Communication Workers Union launches a dog awareness campaign.
The union claims that 3,000 postmen and women are attacked by dogs every year. That’s seven every day.
According to the union, the school summer holidays signals what is known as the ‘dog-bite season’ and the time of the year which traditionally sees a big spike in the number of attacks.
The Royal Mail and the postal workers trade union will be campaigning to raise public awareness and urge customers to be responsible dog owners.
CWU national health and safety officer Dave Joyce said: "Over 70 per cent of dog attacks on postmen and women occur on the garden path or at the doorstep of the dog owners home. It just needs owners to restrict their animal’s access to the front garden or to put their dog in another room before opening the door to collect a parcel or sign for an item.
“Customers are always pleased to see the postman or postwoman arrive as they’re eager to take delivery of their goods they’ve ordered and paid for on the internet but thousands of customers who own a dog unfortunately don’t give a second thought to the Postal Worker’s safety by putting the dog in a safe, secure place.
“The new dog control laws now identify and penalise irresponsible dog owners and many are now facing prosecution and paying heavy court penalties and can end up with criminal records.
“The penalties can also include losing their dogs, being banned from dog ownership, paying compensation and even a Jail sentence.
“Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned. No matter what breed of dog is involved, the dog can present a substantial danger to postal workers."
Top tips for dog owners to help the postman or woman deliver the post in safety
1. Keep your dog indoors around the time that the postman calls to deliver mail.
2. Before you opened the door to collect a parcel or sign for an item - put your dog in another room.
3. Make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack the postman.
4. If you have a back garden, close off the access, so your dog can't get round to the front when the postman calls.
5. If your dog attacks the mail and could bite a postman’s fingers as he puts mail through your letterbox, please fit a letter box cage.
6. If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman delivering your mail, consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.
Has it happened in Somerset before?
A little girl was recovering in hospital after being savagely attacked by a dog in Frome in April.
Jade Douglas watched on in horror as her daughter, Shakeisha Vowell, 10, was attacked by a dog at Vallis Vale.
The family had been visiting the scenic spot as part of Shakeisha’s Easter Holiday activities.
The schoolgirl, who studies at Oakfield Academy, had been playing in the water all afternoon after enjoying a picnic with her mother and auntie.
As she went to put her shoes back on a dog ran up to her and grabbed her by the leg with its teeth.