South Ribble council restricts number of dogs allowed per person in public

Tracy Flowers
Image caption Tracy Flowers says professional dog walkers are being penalised

A decision to limit the number of dogs that can be walked by one person in part of Lancashire will “massively” affect business, a dog walker has said.

South Ribble Borough Council has decided to reduce the maximum number allowed under one person’s control in the borough’s parks from six to four.

The council said this will reduce dog fouling and increase public safety.

But dog walker Tracy Flowers, of Leyland, said it means she is being “penalised for others’ behaviour”.

The decision means anyone seen walking more than four dogs at any one time, or not carrying a waste disposal bag, can be fined £100.

Conservative councillor Graham Walton, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We thought it was far safer for children on parks and open spaces and also the senior members of our community that if you have four dogs or more you’re more likely to lose control of these animals.

“One of the biggest problems we’ve had over the years is dog fouling and it’s one of the major complaints that we have so we are trying to address this.”

‘Everyone else’s mess’

Ms Flowers said: “I agree there’s a terrible problem with dog fouling but this isn’t going to solve it.

“You get your old gentleman walking to the shop for his paper, he’s got his Labrador in tow, he’s the one that lets the dog foul. In his day they didn’t clear up dog mess and they’re the ones leaving it. I see it daily.

“When we’re out we even clear up everyone else’s mess because we don’t want to be blamed for it. So it’s us dog walkers that are being penalised for other people’s behaviour.

“It will affect my livelihood because I don’t have the time to walk as many.”

Since the decision was approved an online petition has attracted 1,700 signatures.

A scrutiny committee meeting is due to be held on 6 November to examine the decision.

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