NEW rules for dog owners in the South Hams have come into force.
The rules have been introduced to help crack down on dog fouling and clarify where dogs should be on leads and where they are banned.
The Dog Control Orders replace the existing bylaws and legislation governing dog fouling and walking across the district.
The move follows a public consultation when people were asked to have their say.
For the first time, it is an offence not to clear up after your dog on all open air, public land in the district excluding Forestry Commission sites.
Dogs are banned in fenced, hedged or walled children’s play areas as well as bowling greens, tennis courts, skateboard or BMX parks and putting greens.
Dogs are also excluded from sports pitches and facilities when sport is in play.
The council’s executive member for environment services, Cllr Rufus Gilbert, said: “We hope the new orders will strike a balance between the needs of dog owners and other residents. Previously, the rules were sometimes confusing so this streamlined approach will help bring clarity for all. We know that most dog owners are responsible but when the minority break the rules it can have a big impact on our communities.”
The Dog Control Orders set out where dogs should be on leads including all car parks, near shops, in cemeteries, churchyards, fenced pond areas and nature reserves.
Dogs should also be on leads in Dartmouth’s Royal Avenue Gardens, Kingsbridge Recreation Ground and Salcombe’s Cliff House Gardens.
An authorised district council officer can ask a dog owner to place their pet on a lead in any open public area where the dog is causing a nuisance or likely to do so.
Dog owners who flout the rules will be issued with an £80 on-the-spot fine with the possibility of a court summons.