Letting a dog off a lead is a big part of their need for exercise, says campaign group KC Dog.

A KENNEL Club campaign group in Torridge is urging people to comment on new dog control orders it feels will ‘restrict’ responsible owners.

Last month the Gazette reported that Torridge District Council was holding a consultation on new orders to control irresponsible owners.

But KC Dog believes these new orders, which include banning dogs from certain areas and making if an offence to allow dogs off the lead in specified areas, are too restrictive.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “It is important for people to respond to Torridge District Council’s consultation to try and ensure that the fairest outcome is guaranteed.

“Dog control orders are becoming more common as councils attempt to find ways to control dog fouling and reign in irresponsible dog owners.

“Unfortunately, this often means responsible dog owners are also penalised and have to suffer restrictions.

“Dogs need to be able to get enough exercise, and allowing a dog to run off lead is a big part of this, so restricting exercise to a lead in some of Torridge’s most popular open spaces has a potentially negative welfare implication which needs to be addressed.

“Areas of natural beauty, such as Northam Burrows Country Park, are respectfully enjoyed by thousands of dog walkers and their four legged friends every year and it would be unjust to unnecessarily block them from continuing to enjoy these places.”

Anyone wishing to comment on the consultation can do so until August 31 by visiting

http://www.torridge.gov.uk/dogcontrolorders or viewing the consultation document at the council offices in Bideford, Torrington or Holsworthy.