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New order requires that dogs must be kept on a lead in many public areas of Derry, including the popular riverside walkway

Owners who flout the regulations could be fined up to £80

Queen's Quay Derry

Dogs must now be kept on a lead along Derry's river walkway.

New orders have been approved which will require dogs to be kept on a lead in a large number of areas in Derry.

This includes the entire riverside walkway from Boom Hall estate as far as Nixon's Corner on one side and Newbuildings on the other.

Dogs will also be required to be on a lead throughout Brooke Park, in council-owned cemeteries and council-owned lands surrounding leisure centres and community centres.

Owners will also have to keep their pets on a lead when on shared pathways in other local parks, although dogs can be exercised off a lead when they are are not on paths.

Dogs are now also banned from council-owned children’s play areas, whether fenced or not; football fields, MUGA pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens. 

Any dog owners who break the new regulations face being fined £80.

Councillors on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee today approved the creation of three additional dog control orders for the council area under The Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2011.

The Act enables councils to create up to five separate orders to help manage issues associated with dogs in their area. 

The orders were originally recommended by members in February of this year, followed by a period of public consultation and will now come before Full Council for ratification at the end of this month.

The first two orders concern keeping dogs on leads on all shared pathways and greenways and owners putting dogs on a lead when instructed to by an authorised officer if it is deemed to be out of control.

A fixed penalty for breach of the orders have been set at a maximum of £80 with a provision for a discount to £50 for early payment.

Chair of the Health and Community Committee, Alderman Andrew McKane, welcomed the approval.

“I would like to welcome the additional dog orders which aim to be an effective additional tool in promoting responsible dog ownership in the Council area,” he said.

“Our primary consideration is to balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against the interests of those affected by the activities of dogs.

“We want the public, and in particular children, to have access to dog-free areas and areas where dogs are kept under strict control, while we also want to be able to allow those charge of dogs to have access to areas where they can exercise their dogs without undue restriction.

“The orders approved at this week’s meeting have been approved following two separate consultation exercises with stakeholders and members of the public, the responses to which were carefully considered before these three additional orders were brought forward to the committee for approval.”

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