DOGS could be banned from parts of Doncaster under plans to combat fouling and nuisance pets.
Dog exclusion zones are being put forward by Doncaster Council.
Although the proposals are at a very early stage and may not be made compulsory, the scheme has already met with upset from dog owners.
The plans form part of the council’s newly-created Environment Strategy which includes a raft of measures aimed at cleaning up the town’s streets and improving quality of life for residents.
In a report, which is due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, the advice put before the council recommends promoting responsible dog ownership through media campaigns and effectively publicising enforcement action taken - and considering the use of dog exclusion zones.
The zones could be introduced in parks, public open spaces and streets in a bid to curb issues such as dog fouling.
One of the most well-known examples of a dog ban zone nationally is at North Yorkshire seaside resort Scarborough, where dogs are banned from stretches of town’s beaches during the summer months.
There are hefty fines in place for those who break the ban by walking dogs on the sands or allowing their animals to foul the beach in zones classified as dog-free.
The proposal has met with a mixed reaction on the streets from dog owners.
Lucy Adams, aged 32, of Hyde Park, who owns a Yorkshire terrier, said: “I clean up after my dog and am a responsible owner but I’m not sure what I think of banning dogs in parks. I like to exercise my dog in Elmfield Park but clear up the mess. I think as long as you do that, there shouldn’t be a problem and I don’t think I would be happy if I was banned from going in the park.”
Bob Crossley of Hexthorpe said he could see some merits in the plan but admitted he would be against an all-out ban.
“Lots of people have dogs, but it sounds a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut,” he said.
“They should target the people who can’t look after their dogs rather than those who can. I don’t see why we should all have to suffer just because of a few people.”
Sharon Ball of Armthorpe said: “I have a dog and I think it’s a stupid idea. You need somewhere to exercise your pet and if you can’t take them in parks, where can you go? I clean up the mess but I know lots of people who don’t and I suppose that’s who they are after.”
Maisie Thomas of Balby backed a dog ban.
She said: “They are a nuisance and it’s not nice for people when they step in dog mess. And it is safer for children too.”
Doncaster Council already has measures in place against dog fouling with fixed penalty fines of £50 for those not immediately cleaning up after their pets.
Repeat offenders can end up in court facing a £1,000 fine. Current legislation covers all roads in the borough where the speed limit is 40mph or less as well as footpaths, bridleways, carriageways and land owned by the council which extends to country parks, playing fields, open spaces, parks, children’s play areas and village greens.
The report recommends the council’s cabinet approves the strategy which would then allow further discussion and possible introduction of some of the points raised.
A Doncaster Council spokesman said: “This is something that is in the very early stages and there are no firm recommendations at all. There are dog exclusion zones in places such as beaches and this is the kind of thing that’s under discussion. But there is absolutely nothing confirmed at this stage and we will be looking to see if its appropriate.”