A ban on walking more than six dogs at once could soon be in force across North Somerset.

Dog walkers could get a fixed penalty notice if they attempt to walk seven or more dogs in a public space anywhere across the district.

North Somerset Council’s executive will vote on introducing the ban at their meeting on 6th September as part of their review of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). PSPOs are rules a council can introduce to curb “anti-social behaviour.”

A consultation on the review was run between 5th June and 30th July.

Explaining the new six dog limit, a report to the council executive stated: “When setting the maximum number of dogs able to be walked by one person, the most important factor for authorities to consider is the maximum number of dogs which a person can control.

“The expert advice provided in the practitioners manual for dealing with irresponsible dog ownership is that this should not exceed six. This is supported by the results of our consultation.”

Additional rules for dog walkers in specific locations are also planned to come into force across North Somerset, but the council is planning further engagement with town and parish councils before a decision is made.

North Somerset-wide PSPOs are also being introduced to control “intoxicating substances.” People will have to stop consuming, inhaling, or using anything which an authorised officer “reasonably believes” to be an intoxicating substance, with the exception of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, or medicines.

PSPOs will also require people to surrender anything which an authorised officer reasonably believes to be an intoxicating substance or associated paraphernalia, unless they have a note from a doctor, social worker, or drugs rehabilitation centre.

PSPOs were introduced in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and were first used in North Somerset in 2017.

People in breach of a PSPO could get a fixed penalty notice on the spot or through the post.

LDRS, John Wimperis