NEW LAWS: Your dog is now banned from entering around 100 areas in South Yorkshire

One of the dog signs.
One of the dog signs.
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Dogs are now banned from entering around 100 public areas across South Yorkshire.

The move is part of a raft of tough new measures designed to encourage dog owners to keep their animals under control in parks and public spaces.

Sandall Park in Doncaster. Picture: Google

Sandall Park in Doncaster. Picture: Google

The Public Space Protection Order introduced by Doncaster Council means dogs will no longer be permitted to enter any fenced off children's play areas across the town.

A council spokesman said this will affect about 100 play areas across the borough, including popular ones at Sandall Park, Elmfield Park and Askern Boating Lake.

Dogs were previously allowed to enter enclosed play areas, but owners who breach the order now face fines ranging from £75 right up to £1000 for persistent or serious offending.

The PSPO, which came into force earlier this month, also includes other measures that aim to reduce dog fouling and encourage owners to keep their pets on a lead in certain areas.

Councillor Chris McGuinness, cabinet member for communities, the voluntary sector and environment, said: “I want to make it very clear that this PSPO is not about punishing or criminalising responsible dog owners, nor is it a money-making scheme for the council.

"As always, our enforcement officers will be using their common sense when they enforce the PSPO and will not be handing out fines left right and centre to people who do keep control of their dog.

“What the PSPO will help us to do is stamp out the irresponsible dog ownership that leads to environmental crime and anti-social behaviour, which I’m sure everyone agrees is totally unacceptable.

"These orders give thoughtless dog owners no excuse and makes it much easier for the council protect other residents and the environment from these selfish individuals.”

A council spokesperson said the authority did not want to release a full list of the dog banning areas as this could cause confusion when new parks are later added to the list and not widely publicised.

But he said there will be clear sign posts at each area affected.

In addition, the council will apply 'common sense' to the ruling so if a person sits in a play area alone with their dog and nobody else is around it is unlikely enforcement officers would take action so long as the pet is well-behaved.

The spokesperson added the reason for the exclusion zones is to help avoid the potentially harmful effects of dog poo, which can cause blindness in children if it gets in their eyes.

The other areas tackled as part of the order include extending the scope of the area where dog fouling is illegal to include all areas of the borough that are open to the public.

There are also new rules that mean anyone walking a dog will need to be carrying appropriate means to pick up after it, or else they could face a fine.

Rules about having your dog on a lead will work in two ways – ‘leads by order’ and ‘leads must be worn’.

In some areas, which have a ‘leads by order’ rating, owners will have to put their dog on a lead if requested to by a council officer.

But this will only happen when there is a risk to the public or wildlife from the dog’s behaviour.

Other areas, including cemeteries and churchyards, will now have a ‘leads must be worn’ ruling, which makes it clear that dogs must not be off the lead at any time.

Full details of the PSPO orders, and a list of frequently asked questions, can be viewed here: http://www.doncaster.gov.uk/pspodogcontrol