OVER 1,900 people in Bradford have had their say on what dog control measures should be put in place across the district in the coming years.

Bradford Council recently held a consultation on plans to update its existing dog control orders - which deal with issues like out of control dogs and people leaving dog faeces in public places. And the authority has described the response as "very high" compared to other public consultations.

Highlighting how important the issue is to many - three times as many Bradford residents responded to this consultation than responded to a consultation on plans for Devolution in West Yorkshire - hailed as one of the biggest shake ups in local democracy in decades.

At a meeting of Bradford Council's Regulatory and Appeals Committee being held virtually on Thursday, members will discuss the consultation, and decide what action should be taken to replace existing orders - which expire later this month.

The orders allows the Council to fine people who fail to pick up dog poo or let their dog run out of control in certain areas.

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Committee members will be advised to renew the orders - but will be told that despite public support, the authority may not be possible to implement a number of tougher measures.

The ward that had the most responses was Ilkley, with 174 residents responding. The was followed by Baildon, with 132 respondents.

The committee will be told that in 2019 the Council's dog control team received 783 complaints of dog fouling, 244 complaints of stray dogs, and 294 reports of dangerous dogs.

The consultation asked people if they felt more areas where dogs have to remain on leads should be introduced.

Among those that responded to the consultation were numerous park "Friends of" groups.

The Friends of Brackenhill Park replied to say: "Many users of the park have complained about the presence of uncontrolled dogs in the park and playgrounds. In fact this situation has been frequently stated by potential park users as one of the main reasons that they keep away from the park."

The Friends of Peel Park said: "An off-lead dog that does not immediately recall to its owner can create an atmosphere of uncertainty and antipathy to dogs in general."

A member of the Friends of Bowling Park: "Many dog owners have large energetic dogs that need the freedom to run off the lead.

"I think it would be a shame to make the park lead only and I suspect it would impact on footfall as many dog owners would find somewhere else to walk their dogs.

"That said I do think dog fouling is an issue and where I think stronger enforcement would be useful is in increased signage around the park emphasising the importance of picking up dog poop immediately (and the consequences for not doing so.)"

Other respondents raised concerns over dogs in cemeteries.

Queensbury Councillor Lynda Cromie (Ind), is also a member of the Friends of Queensbury Cemetery. She said: "Over the last few years we have enacted a dogs on leads policy for the cemetery, however this is currently not working, people are letting dogs run free and defecate without removal of the faeces.

"After speaking to local residents and the community, concerns have been raised about the abundance of dog foul and the lack of peace with dogs running around, in such an emotionally sensitive area."

Despite many respondents calling for tougher orders, a report to the committee says: "Were the committee to implement variations to the existing orders or include existing prohibitions and add prohibitions and requirements to create a new composite district wide order this would lead to considerable additional expense in providing new signage across the district."

Referring to some of the tougher measures - such as proposed bans on dogs being let off leads in more areas, the report says Council officers have concerns about "low level of compliance and lack of resources to enforce restrictions."

Members will be asked to extend the existing orders.