Dog-owners could face fines of £1,000
TOUGH new laws to ban dogs from certain areas of Wadebridge are expected to come into force soon.
The town council is seeking to prohibit dogs from entering play areas, the tennis courts and bowling green.
If an owner is caught with their dog off the lead in Egloshayle or Jubilee playing fields, they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Council staff have been given authority to issue fixed-penalty fines if they spot anyone breaching the new rules in the areas covered by a new dog control order.
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Wadebridge councillors say they have been forced to apply to Cornwall Council for the new restrictions because of the amount of dog mess found in recreation areas and other problems that have occurred.
The dog ban will cover Egloshayle Cemetery, Egloshayle children's play area, the tennis courts, bowling green and the Jubilee play area.
Failing to clean up after a dog or not complying with the new dog control order could result in a fine of £80 (reduced to £50 if paid within ten days), or prosecution.
Town mayor Tony Rush said there was a continuing problem with dog- fouling and other matters, and something needed to be done.
"We've had quite a few complaints about dogs getting into the children's play areas and exercising their dogs in the playing fields and not picking up the mess their pets leave," he said.
"Some owners also let their dogs off the lead, and not everyone appreciates a dog bounding towards them.
"I'm sure it's only a minority who are causing the problems, but there's a health and safety issue here."
Dogs could still be exercised off the lead in Coronation Park, but owners needed to pick up their mess.
The town council says it welcomes representations from residents about the new restrictions, and they have 28 days to e-mail or write to the town clerk giving their views.