After the controversy over a proposed dog control order last year, Shropshire Council has now come up with sensible proposals. Nearly 600 people replied to the council’s consultation last year. The new rules make sense. Dogs on a lead on the highway, Dog walkers must clean up their dogs poo, unless the walker is exempt due to disability or the dog is exempt because it is a working dog. The council has dropped its proposal to fine dog owners if their dog poops in public.

Those that don’t obey the rules will get a £100 fixed penalty notice with the prospect of much higher fines if the matter goes to court.

The police, civil enforcement officers (traffic wardens) and council officers will be able to impose the fines.

We need a change in culture to one where people know it is unacceptable to leave dog poo on the ground or to leave poo bags on trees and in hedges. This has to become like wearing seatbelts. The large majority of us do that automatically and those that don’t are persuaded to do so by police enforcement.

Last October, Shropshire Council created controversy, even attracted ridicule when it published a draft Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to control dogs and dog faeces in the county. The consultation paper was ill thought through and, not for the first time, showed that the council lacks adequate quality control of papers coming to councillors for decision. Controversial elements and unworkable proposals have been removed from the revised PSPO, and the new regulations are now in line with those issued by other councils.

The County of Shropshire Dog Control Public Space Protection Order 2023 applies to dog fouling and subsequent removal of dog faeces; and the walking of dogs in specified areas of Shropshire. The regulations apply to any person in charge of a dog in any public place within the area of the Shropshire unitary area.

  • Clean up the poo. Dog walkers must immediately clean up and remove any faeces which have been deposited by the dog.
  • Disposing of the poo. Faeces must be disposed of by being bagged and taken away or put into a public litter or dog waste bin. This means no hanging poo bags on trees or tossing them into bushes.
  • Dog walkers must comply with any request from any authorised officer of Shropshire Council, a police officer, or police community support officer to clean up and remove any dog faeces.

The PSPO also excludes dogs from specified areas.

  • Dog exclusion zones including any enclosed public children’s play area, playground or similar enclosed area. This includes play areas owned by parish and town councils, if signed at the entrances as a dog exclusion zone.

Dog control:

  • Dogs must be kept on a lead no more than 1 metre in length on the highway.
  • If instructed by an authorised person (see below), they must put their dog on a lead except where there is a reasonable excuse including the landowner’s permission.

Those caught breaking these rules will receive of fixed penalty notice of £100. If they are taken to court for no- payment or another reason, the fine could be up to £1,000 plus the council’s legal costs.

How well and how extensively these rules are enforced remains to be seen. I suspect that we will see enforcement in town centres but almost none in the rest of our urban and village areas.

Fixed penalty notices under the PSPO can be handed out by a police constable, police community support officer (PCSO), any officer or person authorised by Shropshire Council.

Some dog walkers are exempt from the rules:

  • Registered blind people.
  • People with disabilities with assistance dogs trained by a charity.
  • Working dogs, including those being used for work in emergency search and rescue, herding or shepherding animals, law enforcement and the work of the armed forces. The exemption will only apply while the dog is working.

The PSPO recognises the following charities as providing assistance dogs:

  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
  • Dogs for the Disabled
  • Support Dogs
  • Canine Partners for Independence
  • Assistance Dogs UK
  • Guide Dogs
  • Kennel Club Charitable Trust
  • Dogs Trust.

The PSPO will be in force for three years, at which point it will need to be renewed or the regulations will no longer apply.

The Public Space Protection Order.

3 thought on “Shropshire Council to adopt sensible dog control policies”
  1. It won’t be enforced. There is dog shit every where in Ludlow. Those who pick it up often hang the bag in the nearest.shrub or tree. There are simply too many dogs. I can understand people having one as a companion but why do people need three or four. I was in Bath recently for a short break. Not a dog In site. Bring back dog licensing.

  2. Why exempt working dogs? For example, my daughter’s dog is a Working Cocker Spaniel which is a recognised breed of spaniel. Does that mean her dog can freely poo without her needing to pick up the poo? There are other breeds of so called working dogs like labradors which are also just pets.

    1. Working dogs are exempt only when working. This of course also exempts dogs in hunts

Comments are closed.

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading