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Dog Control

Dog Control

The Environmental Health Department deals with a range of dog control legislation which is designed to promote responsible dog ownership and to help protect the public, livestock and other animals from attacks by dogs. The main legislation is The Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 (as amended)

We introduced The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council) Order 2015 Dog Control Order under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 and the Dog Control Orders (Prescribed Offences and Penalties etc) Regulations (NI) 2012. The order came into effect on 9th November 2015.

The Dogs Exclusion (Number 1)(Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council) Order 2017 under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 and the Dog Control Orders (Prescribed Offences and Penalties etc) Regulations (NI) 2012 came into effect on 1 June 2017.


We will investigate complaints about stray dogs; attacks on people, livestock and other animals such as dogs and cats and dog fouling. Where sufficient evidence exists we will take formal enforcement action against an offender, for example, written warning, issue a notice requiring the dog to be controlled in a certain way, fixed penalty notice, caution or prosecution in Court.

Out Of Hours Service

The Council offer an Out of Hours Service for ongoing dog attacks on persons or animals. Between the hours of 5pm and 9am any member of the public can report an ongoing attack anywhere in the Borough by telephoning 0300 0300 900.

Reports of strays dogs after 5pm, will not be dealt with until the next working day.

Barking Dogs

If you are concerned about your dog barking and causing disturbance, speak with your vet and/or a dog behaviourist.

Stray dogs

Dog owners should ensure that their dogs are kept on their own property to prevent straying and help to reduce the problem of dog fouling. Should you allow your dog to stray then you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £80.00, and may also be liable for kennel fees or return to owner fees.

If your dog is not microchipped or licenced then you will have to pay for a licence before it can be returned.

Dog Fouling

Dog fouling is an extremely sensitive issue. The vast majority of complaints received relate to dog fouling. We want to help ensure that we can all enjoy a clean and pleasant environment free from the dog mess left by irresponsible dog owners.

Patrols of areas are carried out on a regular basis by Wardens particularly where fouling is prevalent. Dog foul bins have been provided for dog owners and we use a range of advisory and warning signage. We may also use CCTV to monitor certain problem areas from time to time.

Where we have evidence that someone has failed to clean up after their dog, we will take formal enforcement action against an offender, for example, fixed penalty notice, caution or prosecution in Court.

Where we can re-home a suitable stray, unclaimed or unwanted dog we make every effort to find them a home where they will be cared for. We work with local animal charities to help us with this task. Details of all dogs available for re-homing can be found on our Dog Control Facebook page

Deciding whether to get a puppy or dog is a big decision. It is advisable, before purchasing a puppy, to give it proper thought and to carry out some research.

Anyone who decides to get a dog becomes responsible for that animal and will need to know about the legal requirements of owning a dog.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) have created a very useful leaflet and information on buying and caring for a puppy.

They set out various decisions that should be made and provide information on:

  • the importance of research, before deciding to buy a puppy/dog
  • finding the right dog breed
  • deciding where to get your new puppy/dog
  • finding a healthy, happy dog
  • collecting your new dog and bringing it home
  • helping your new dog settle-in to its new home
  • understanding dog behaviour

It goes on to note your legal obligations as an owner which include aspects such as:

  • licensing the dog
  • keeping the dog under proper control
  • meeting the welfare needs of the dog

DAERA’s Buying and Caring for a puppy leaflet

Paws for Thought

If you are thinking about getting a dog, #PawsforThought and give it some proper consideration.

Things to consider:

  • ​Do you really know where your dog is coming from? Can you be sure that the dog isn’t from an illegal breeder or been stolen?
  • If you decide to get a dog, consider rehoming an unwanted dog first.
  • If you decide to buy a puppy, make sure to buy it from a reputable /licensed breeder who has made sure the puppy has had a good start in life.
  • Once you have made the decision to buy a puppy, only buy one aged 8 weeks or more and make sure to see the puppy with its mother at its home.
  • Never buy a dog or a pup that is delivered to you.
  • Dogs must be microchipped at 8 weeks old, and dog owners are responsible for contacting the local council and licensing their dog.
  • Dog owners are responsible for keeping the dog under proper control, and for meeting the welfare needs of their dog.

For more info on OPERATION PAWS FOR THOUGHT, click here.

DAERA’s Paws for Thought Leaflet