WALKING more than four dogs at a time may become an offence after proposals are submitted to review existing control orders.

Darlington Borough Council is proposing to replace all existing Dog Control Orders in the borough with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which will include two new dog-related offences.

The report to the council's Cabinet will be submitted Tuesday, November 5, which outlines existing Dog Control Orders that are now outdated and need to be reviewed.

The existing Dog Control Order makes it an offence to not pick up dog faeces, not keep a dog on a lead in certain areas, not putting and keeping a dog on a lead when told by an officer and letting a dog enter land where it is not allowed, such as children's parks, farmland and sports fields.

The new proposed PSPO will include these offences but will also introduce a maximum of four dogs that can be walked at a time and will exclude dogs from all council cemeteries.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Community Safety, said: “The proposed PSPO will bring together all the relevant rules relating to dogs in the borough and will help make Darlington a more attractive and safer place to live, work and visit.

“Most of the rules to be included in the proposed PSPO are already in force, with the exception of the introduction of a maximum number of dogs to be walked, and we want to hear what people think before a final decision is made so do share your views with us.”

If approved, the new PSPO will run for three years until it is again reviewed or replaced.

A PSPO offence can be punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 or by a fixed penalty of up to £100

The Cabinet will meet at 5pm on Tuesday, November 5, in Committee Room No. 2 at the Town Hall.

Views on the proposal can also be made online at surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PSPOS8TB5Y3