A REGISTRATION scheme for animals kept on allotments has been introduced by council officials.
The move has been taken on welfare grounds, and will enable the local authority to ensure that animals are being kept in appropriate conditions at allotments across Hartlepool.
Any allotment holders who fail to provide details of animals could face eviction.
Helen Beaman, Hartlepool Borough Council’s environment co-ordinator, said: “We are working in partnership with animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA to ensure that all animals living on allotments are being kept in conditions that promote their well-being.
“We intend to carry out regular inspections to check that all animals are being kept in suitable conditions, as required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006.”
Allotment holders must now seek written permission to keep animals from the Council’s Allotments Team by filling in an annual animal registration form, giving full details of the types and quantities of animals they wish to keep.
Such animals can include chickens and other egg-laying birds, as well as bees and rabbits.
Historically dogs have been kept on allotments, but this practice is currently being phased out.
No dogs, other than those registered before April 2011, can now be kept overnight on allotments.
All registered dogs should also be micro-chipped, and the council is offering this service free of charge at drop-in chipping clinics at Summerhill, off Catcote Road, on Wednesday, February 9, from 10am-1pm, West View Community Centre, in Miers Avenue, on Wednesday, March 2, from 10am-1pm and Owton Manor Community Centre, in Wynyard Road, on Wednesday, March 16, from 10am-1pm.