Dog owners face £1,000 fine for walking pets with long leads near roads and cycle paths 

Dog owners risk an on-the-spot fine which can increase to £1,000 if prosecuted for walking their pets with long leads 

Dog owners risk being landed with a fine of up to £1,000 fines for walking their pets with leads longer than one metre. 

The strict new rule will come into force in some parts of the UK from April and mean people will no longer be able to use long leads when exercising their dogs near roads and cycle paths.

What is the new rule? 

From 1 April 2022, dog owners in Teignbridge Devon could be fined for using long leads when walking their pets close to roads or cycle paths. 

The penalty for breaching the rule is an on-the-spot fine of £100 which can rise to £1000 if prosecuted. 

The new rule comes as part of a new public space protection order (PSPO) for dogs agreed by councillors to half the current two-metre rule, and other local authorities may follow suit.

Officials hope it will "reduce irresponsible dog ownership and make the area cleaner and greener". 

The rule only applies to highways and cycle paths, not in parks or on beaches. 

Councillor Alistair Dewhirst said: "I think it has worked well so far and we want it to continue.

“It’s made a big difference in our district and I know it is something that fills all our inboxes, the issue of dog fouling in our communities."

Councillor John Nutley praised environmental wardens enforcing the rules and said they have "made a massive impact". 

Teignbridge District Council officers will put more signs in key locations to inform the public of the new rules. 

What are the rules across the UK?

Across the UK, dog owners must keep their dogs on short, fixed-length leads, which are two metres or less, in "some circumstances" under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. 

Many councils decided to reduce this down to 1.5 metres. 

South Tyneside says dogs must be kept on leads of this length in one park and all cemeteries across the area to "reduce the risk of fouling without the owner knowing". 

The maximum dog lead length is 1.5 metres in all cemeteries in Hartlepool and in all areas of Haringey, North London, dogs must not be on leads longer than two metres.

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