Manchester bans long dog leads

The town council for Tameside, an area in East Manchester, has incredibly banned dog owners from using dog leads that are more than two metres in length. Tameside Council is under the strange opinion that by banning long dog leads, they will somehow help to curb dog fouling and irresponsible dog owners from leaving their dog’s mess behind rather than picking it up.

Should any ‘irresponsible’ dog owner use a lead that extends to more two metres (6ft 5” in old money) then they will be hit with a £1,000 fine from dog wardens.

Dog owners have quite rightly branded the idea as ‘ridiculous’, with Dylan Sharpe, part of the campaign group ‘Big Brother Watch’, commenting:

“This proposal is completely barking mad – only a local authority would even think of fining people £1,000 because of the length of their dog lead.

This is just the latest in a steady stream of potty policies that try to criminalise and fine innocent dog walkers.”

This barking mad rule has been introduced in Tameside, in Greater Manchester, with a view to launching it nationwide should it prove successful.

The Kennel Club has also expressed its opinion on the ruling, claiming that the decision to ban leads over 2 metres in length was ‘completely arbitrary’. Caroline Kisko, from the KC, added:

“Bringing in an order which states to ‘keep the dog on a lead of not more than two metres in length’ seems completely arbitrary and unnecessary. We believe it will be ineffective and extremely difficult to enforce. Many dog owners use flexible retractable leads in order to allow their dogs some freedom while still maintaining control so it seems particularly unfair to limit the length of lead in this way.”

Tameside Council, in a moment of utter foolishness, claimed that dog owners who used shorter leads were more responsible. A spokeswoman commented:

“People are more likely to clean up after – and have control of – their pets when they are on a lead.”

Extendable dog leads are a safe and convenient way of exercising your dog while maintaining control of them. They allow the dog to run around and get some much needed exercise while still staying safe. If extendable dog leads are banned, and their owners forced to pay fines of £1,000, how are elderly dog owners expected to exercise their dogs without letting them off the lead?

Dog owners using mobility scooters also need to use extendable dog leads for the safety of the dog. Tameside Council clearly hasn’t thought this through at all – and as for dog owners who uses extendable dog leads being less likely to clean up after their dog, that’s just nonsense.


  • […] Most playgrounds in the UK are adorned with signs insisting that dogs are not allowed in. These signs often threaten heavy fines for anyone who dares to take their dog into the playground. Any open areas that do allow dogs insist that the dogs are kept on leads, with an area in Manchester recently even banning the use of extendable dog leads. […]

  • These things are a menance and should be banned. The amount of times I have been riding my bicycle on a dual cycle footpath and almost run into some idiots dog lead, stretched across the cycle way, even in the winter time when it is dark. I sick to death of ignorant dog owners thinking they can let their dogs run riot on a footpath or cyclepath when they should be kept on a tight leash. Banning them is the only answer.

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