Strict new dog control legislation will come into force across Newtownabbey on Tuesday, April 1.
Local dog owners are being encouraged to take note of the Dogs on Leads Order, which sets out restrictions regarding specific areas of the borough where dogs will no longer be allowed off-lead.
Pet owners are being warned that council wardens will be out and about enforcing the new rules, and that those failing to comply could be hit with an £80 fixed penalty notice.
The new regulations state that dogs must be kept on leads at all times in the following areas:
• All ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads within the borough.
• All cemeteries and burial grounds.
• Loughshore Caravan Park.
• Council grounds at Mossley Mill from Carnmoney Road North, continuing along the Newtownabbey Way to the Manse Road.
The Order also extends to areas of community centre grounds and parks, including play areas and sports pitches.
Areas covered by the Order include Anderson Park Play Area, Doagh; Ballyclare War Memorial Park; Ballyduff Community Centre; Ballynure War Memorial Park; The Diamond, Rathcoole; Monkstown Community Centre and playing fields; Mossley (Pavilion) Park; Sixmile Leisure Centre Conservation and Wildlife Area; Sixmile Park car park at Mill Road; Threemilewater Park Playing Fields and Whiteabbey Memorial Park.
The council has warned that any person who is found to be in breach of the Dog Control Order could be issued with a fixed penalty notice or be fined up to £1,000 on conviction.
Mayor Fraser Agnew joined council dog warden Iain McAllister on the Newtownabbey Way earlier this week to raise awareness of the Dogs on Leads Order.
“This Dog Control Order comes into force following consultation with our residents and is designed to promote responsible dog ownership and make our roadways, play areas and recreation grounds a safer and more enjoyable space for everyone,” Alderman Agnew said.
“We are asking dog owners to be responsible, and our dog wardens and park wardens will be on the ground to make sure all dog owners are aware of the new Order.
“The council promotes all open and recreational areas throughout the borough as shared space for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors of all ages.”
For full details of roads and park locations where the new Order applies, log on to the council’s website - www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/dogs - or call 028 9034 0161.