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Hammersmith & Fulham Council is taking the lead against the growing menace of anti-social dog owners by hitting them with fines of up to £1,000. H&F Council is the first local authority in London to impose a full set of dog control orders. A consultation with residents showed overwhelming support for the scheme.

Katherine Landale, who walks her Norfolk Terrier, Wilber, around Hammersmith, says, "I'm in favour of the control orders. There is nothing in them to concern responsible dog owners."

Council officers are now issuing on the spot fines of £75 if owners fail to clean up their dog's mess, if they walk with more than four canines at a time, if their dog is off its leash in cemeteries and park wildlife areas or if they allow their pets to play in children's play areas.

Crime & anti-social behaviour cabinet member Cllr Greg Smith says, "We are clamping down on the small minority of anti-social dog owners who don't clean up after their pets. We know that 99 per cent of dog owners are responsible people, but these orders are designed to tackle the small minority who aren't."

The full set of control orders came into effect on Thursday 15 March meaning that dog owners can be fined £75 if they fail to put their dog on a lead when asked to do so by a council or police officer. The maximum fine is £1,000.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, cabinet member for environment, says, "Residents are demanding cleaner streets and parks and dog owners who don't take responsibility for their animal's behaviour now face on the spot fines. We are not asking people to do something that is difficult or impossible, it's very basic and it's very easy to comply with."

March 26, 2007