TOUGHER restrictions on dog walkers agreed as part of a radical local law change forced by rising cases of attacks will not be an all-out ‘draconian’ clampdown, worried pet owners have been told.

Ruling cabinet members approved the development earlier this month which will allow the council to put conditions in place that dog owners, borough-wide, must follow.

A public consultation will run until October 16 before the results are assessed, and the draft public space protection order (PSPO) goes before cabinet once again.

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for adults and communities, said: “This is not a case of implementing draconian measures, but instead looking to combat the actions of a small minority of individuals.

“We continue to receive complaints from residents about the behaviour of some dogs in the borough which is having a detrimental effect on people who live the area.

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“We know that most dog owners in Barnsley are responsible and we want everyone to be able to enjoy your parks and open spaces, which this order will help to do.”

The order will allow the council to put specific conditions in place that dog owners must follow including the requirement of mandatory leads and more strict enforcement on dog fouling.

Any refusal to comply would result in an on-the-spot fine of £100 and non-payment could result in a £1,000 fine imposed by the courts.

One resident, who runs a dog-walking business, told the Chronicle fears had been expressed that the measures would be so strict it would harm her livelihood.

“Everyone’s heard horror stories about off-the-lead dogs attacking others but it’s important to stress just how rare these awful occasions are,” the woman, who did not wish to be named, said.

“It’s not a case of dogs being out of control all the time, it’s purely a case of owners trusting their pets too much or, in most examples where something has happened, that they simply don’t care about the welfare of others.

“It’s the same thing as always - the minority ruin it for the majority and others in my position are worried strict measures will harm our livelihoods.”

Stricter punishments are also set to come in to stop dog fouling, which will see more enforcement officers targeting areas reported by councillors and the public.

“Dog fouling also can be a health hazard to the animals and humans, so dog owners must clean up after their pet,” Coun Platts added.

“I would urge all of our residents to take the time to complete the survey and help to influence the new PSPO.”

To complete the survey, visit the council’s website.