A call to combat aggressive dogs in Norwich has been met with resistance

A call to combat dog attacks by making it compulsory to keep dogs on leads has been met with resistance from the city council.

Residents and a Norwich MP asked Norwich City Council to place a dog control order in the West Pottergate area following a spate of dog attacks which left pets dead and injured.

But the council claims it has not received enough enquiries about compulsory dog leashing to warrant a dog control order being put in place.

The council also raised concerns over the impact a dog control order would have on responsible pet owners who take care of their pets while on walks.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: 'The vast majority of dog owners in the city are responsible, it is only a minority that ruin the good reputation of these owners.

'Issues such as fouling and leashing dogs are areas that we can have some control over.

'In order to adopt a dog control order we must have a strong evidence base, especially when it could restrict the activities of responsible owners.

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'We have this evidence base for dog fouling, but not for leashing dogs. However, we welcome any additional information about aspects of dog control that might help to inform future decisions around this.'

The call for the council to use its powers came after Simon Wright MP wrote a letter on behalf of constituents asking for compulsory dog-leashing to be enforced in West Pottergate.

The letter highlighted a petition signed by 360 residents who want to make it compulsory to keep dogs on leads in the area.

In response, Jerry Massey, director of regeneration and development at Norwich City Council said: 'The imposition of a dog control order has to be proportionate to the size of the issue. The council only received four queries about dogs off leads in 2010.'

Currently, there are no dog control orders within the city boundaries, but the council is preparing a report to enforce a city-wide dog control area to require people to clean up after their dogs.

Mr Wright said it is encouraging that the council is looking at dog control orders for fouling, but hopes compulsory leashing can still be put in place to address the issue of dog attacks.

He said: 'The concern from residents surrounding aggressive dogs in the city is shown through the response to the petition organised by the residents in the West Pottergate area.

'I still believe aggressive dogs are a significant concern in some parts of the city.'

Do you have a story about an aggressive dog? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772 439 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk