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Dorset Dogs at Birmingham NEC Conference


NEC Conference with walker repsIn a follow-up to the meeting at the Houses of Parliament put on by the Kennel Club when they launched a report about the impact on dog owners of access restrictions Su Powner from Dorset Dogs was invited to speak at a conference for local authorities at Birmingham NEC, hosted by the Kennel Club & the National Dog Wardens Association.

Dorset Dogs was highlighted as a ‘best practice’ example of championing positive access management for people with dogs whilst promoting responsible ownership.
Photo: Representatives of dog owner groups who have worked with local authorities to help improve proposals, with Steve Jenkinson, expert access advisor and Kennel Club Access Advisor, and Su from Dorset Dogs.
Dorset Dogs was invited to talk about the positive, educative and consultative approach taken by Dorset Dogs. During the conference, chaired by expert advisor Steve Jenkinson, the Kennel Club explain that they support restrictions where they are reasonable and necessary, whilst less well-thought out ones can create a lot of hardship and also move and concentrate problems to other locations. Other speakers included representatives from dog walking groups, the police and local authorities.
Public Space Protection Orders (now replacing Dog Control Orders) relating to dog fouling are generally well received, and also the option for council officers to ask people to put their dogs on leads ‘by direction’ if that specific dog(owner) is causing a problem, whilst the ‘dogs on leads’ or excluded needs to be carefully thought about to ensure it’s necessary and reasonable at that location at that time and in the context of the wider area.  They can also be used to limit the number of dogs taken on to a place at one time by a person,
At the earlier Houses of Parliament meeting a home office official had confirmed that Government are updating their guidance to local authorities about consulting and implementing PSPOs in relation to dogs, however the timing of the General Election means they have had to postpone the release of the guidance, the release of this was imminent and will now come later in the year.
The Kennel Club's report is available at Impact of Access Restrictions on Dog Owners - Kennel Club report  and their press release about the conference is available at Birmingham NEC Conference

People at the conference
Some of the delegates at the conference, listening intently to a speaker.

Serious issues and potential approaches explained and debated.