MEASURES taken by a council to reduce dog fouling have been slammed as ‘draconian’ by campaigners.

More than 100 people have signed up to an online petition, Let Leia Run, in protest to the newly proposed dog control orders made by Ribble Valley Council.

The new proposal states dogs have to be kept on a lead at all times on council owned land, including in parks and open spaces and the land around Clitheroe Castle.

Non-compliance could result in a fine of up to £100.

Clitheroe resident Jackie Robinson, who set up the online petition, said: “The orders are disproportionate.

“It’s like using a sledge hammer to crack a walnut.

“I think the council will find out that public opinion in the borough is strongly against the implementation of these orders.”

Mrs Robinson also said the orders would result in many dog owners being forced to break the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which obliges dog owners to give their pets the freedom to express normal behaviours and give them appropriate exercise.

Jil Lewis, practice manager at Vets4Places Clitheroe, said: “How the council would intend to enforce this is beyond me.

“We have only one full time-dog warden in the whole of the Ribble Valley.”

Cllr Allan Knox, Ribble Valley Lib Dem leader, said: “To ban dogs exercising freely on the Castle Field seems a draconian punishment for the vast majority of dog owners, who act responsibly.

“One of the council’s goals was to promote the wellbeing of its residents, so why on earth are they trying to make dog ownership difficult?”

Residents have until September 1 to have their say on the plans.

Cllr Ken Hind, Ribble Valley Council leader, said: “Cllr Knox is totally wrong about this issue. This is a consultation.

“The council are anxious to find out what the public think about these proposals.

“No decisions will be made without debate in the housing committee, in which the Lib Dems, are represented and then it will be considered by the full council.

“My own personal view I feel that many dogs can be allowed to run in public spaces and on land owned by the council provided they are properly trained by their owner.” Visit or call 01200 425111 to join the consultation.