New signs have begun to appear across the borough in advance of the introduction of new dog control orders in Wandsworth.
The orders are expected to come into force in April and will incorporate a new set of rules designed to promote responsible dog ownership and ensure that owners who allow their pets to cause problems can be tackled swiftly and effectively
The new signage is now being erected so that dog owners are fully aware of the new rules and their responsibilities once the orders become effective.
The first set of signs are being erected in town centres, residential streets and other parts of the public highway so that owners know the specific rules that apply in these places.
Other signs outlining the appropriate rules that apply in different parts of the borough's parks and open spaces will follow later.
The orders are being introduced following extensive public consultation last year and will replace a series of existing but outdated bye-laws and also cover areas not currently regulated in any way.
The main change will see the entire borough covered by 'poop-scoop' rules. Owners will no longer be able to let their dogs foul in the gutter or the road surface without removing it.
Dogs will also need to be kept on a lead whilst being walked on the public highway in places like town centres and residential streets.
The existing dog ban areas in some of the borough's parks will continue to apply to common-sense places like children's playgrounds, tennis courts, sports pitches, lakes and bowling greens.
Dogs will also need to be kept on leads in very specific areas of open space such as car parks and outdoor eating areas. In virtually all other places they can be exercised as normal.
Environment spokesman Sarah McDermott said: "The new orders are expected to come into effect at some point in April, once all the correct signs have been put up. It is important that dog owners familiarise themselves with the new arrangements that will apply in the places they normally exercise their dogs.
"The biggest changes are the new requirements for dogs to be kept on a lead whilst being walked anywhere on the public highway and also the extension of poop scoop laws to cover the entire borough and not just our parks and open spaces.
"What this means is that owners will have to clear up after their dogs, wherever this happens. It is no longer an option for dogs to leave a mess behind in gutters.
"Most responsible dog owners will not notice much of a change because they already follow their own straightforward and sensible set of rules that prevent their pets from causing any problems.
"But the changes mean that careless and irresponsible dog owners can be targeted with much greater effect."
For more information about the new dog control orders, including precise details and maps of where they will apply, visit wandsworth.gov.uk/dogs
The sign illustrated above is the type that will be appearing in residential areas, town centres and other parts of the public highway. Different signs will be in use in parks and open spaces, where different rules apply.
Date posted: 13 March 2010