Hampshire town enforces new four-dog walking limit

Fiona Simpson
New ban: Dog walkers must only take four animals out at a time: PA

Dog walkers who roam around a Hampshire town with more than six dogs at once will now be slapped with a £100 fine.

Gosport Council introduced the fines on Monday in a bid to combat out of control animals and an increase in dog mess on the streets, officials said.

People were previously allowed to handle as many as six canines at a time before the new Public Spaces Protection Order came into force.

One professional dog walker slammed the change and claimed his business will be affected.

He told the BBC: “There are a few professional dog walkers who are going to be affected, and members of the public as well."

Another resident complained she would have to walk her five huskies in two packs.

She said: "I wouldn't walk five dogs if I didn't think I could control them."

Councillors hit back at critics and said the new rules were “needed”.

Councillor Graham Burgess told the BBC: "In a densely-populated borough like Gosport, we do believe new rules are needed."

Councillor John Tanner added: "With more than four dogs, you are not taking your dog out for a walk but a pack of potentially dangerous animals for a riot around the park."

In March, Richmond Council announced a consultation to bring in similar rules in the borough’s green spaces.