Dogs on leads

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chazza | 15:27 Tue 17th Apr 2007 | Law
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What is the law concerning keeping dogs on leads on :
1. public footpaths

2. private (owner maintained) lanes?


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I think the law is fairly simply and states that dogs must be kept under control at all times. This applies to whether leashed or not.

i.e a dog can be off a lead in public IF under control.
Local authorities have the power, under Section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, to designate roads where it's an offence to permit a dog to be unless it's on a lead.

Under the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 (or the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, as appropriate depending on the location), it's an offence to allow a dog to put in fear any person or animal on the street. (In some cases, it could be argued that failing to keep a dog on a lead could contravene these laws).

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it an offence 'allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place'. (Once again, failure to keep a dog on a lead could, under some circumstances, fall foul of this legislation)

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 empowers local authorities to designate areas of land (including footpaths) where dogs must be kept on a lead.

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires all dogs, in a public place, to wear a collar which has the name & address of the owner on it (or on a tag attached to the collar). However, there's no requirement that the collar should be attached to a lead.

Otherwise, there's very little relevant legislation. The law places a duty of 'due care' on everybody. The courts could interpret this as meaning that dogs should be kept 'under proper control' in public places. A 'public place' doesn't have to mean publicly-owned land. It can also refer to any land to which the public has access, such as the type of lane referred to in the second part of your question.

Hi Chazza.
It depends on your council. If you live in Exeter there is a VERY STRICT keep dog on lead policy. I already have my �75 instant fine to prove it and so do lots of other citizens, despite dogs being under control.
I dont know why Exeter City Council enforce it so rigorously but when I spoke with the dog warden they said they are going to eventually roll it out to the whole country.
Please visit this site, there are links to documents too. If it is true, this will apply to sll UK eventually. 6292
Why cant all dogs be on leads, specificaly on city, or urban streets. My dog always is, it doesn't harm him, or any one else to do the same. Bring compulsary laws into affect to do this and I suspect more than half of all complaints will become history. All my troubles are caused by middle aged women who think they can control their dogs off a lead, who become nasty when asked to control their dogs and stop them bothering me, or my dog. If I walked my dog, a 10 stone Rottwieller off his lead, even though he is trained and his bread is not on the dangerous dogs list, I think they would feel different. But its one law for some and another for others... So why cant it be a compulsary law for all dogs to be on a lead?
I agree with the fact that all dogs should be on leads at all times in public. And it should be compulsary. I have two gorgeous Rotties one has been bitten twice, by middle aged womens dogs not on leads. And both owners did not care. If it was the other way around it would be a different story.So many people let there dogs off leads in parks to foul and do not pick up the mess. I have seen dogs die purely because the owner has not had them on a lead and they have run into the road. Keep your dog safe keep it on a lead. One of my dogs will no longer tolerate strangers dogs off leads comes as no surprise really after 2 attacks. Can you blame him.
I to feel dogs should be on a lead at all times after all there are now retractable leads that allow more freedom for the dog. Also the problem of dogs out of control is not confined to urban ares I farm next to a Woodland Trust Wood and it has become a major dog walking location. I am happy for people to visit such wonderful places but many of them do not realise the harm their dogs do when they at best go off in the undergrowth and disturb all the wildlife at worst stray into the surrounding fields and chase or kill the sheep. It is time to say all dogs on leads please and maybe we will get some order restored.
I live in an amazing part of the country and I want people & dogs who live in towns & cities to enjoy it also but so many of them think that it's ok for their dogs to run all over! Only today have I had 2 of my chickens killed by someone's dog that got in a private field with no footpaths or bridle ways and then into my garden but they get angry with me that my chickens aren't in a pen, I had the same last week! Please please please keep your dogs under control!!!

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