NEW controls for dogwalkers in Torfaen could see the number of dog exclusion zones cut by almost half.

The proposal, which would reduce the number from 250 to 138, forms part of a three-year public space protection order (PSPO) that could replace the existing dog control laws in the county.

The changes could come into effect from July if a report set to go before a scrutiny committee next week is approved by cabinet.

Dog fouling will remain an offence under the order, which could also introduce restrictions in two new areas where dogs must be kept on a lead.

New lead-only areas would be set up in parts of Cwmbran Boating Lake and Garn Lakes nature reserve.

Both were chosen due to a history of dog-on-dog attacks, with the risk to wildlife and dogwalkers near bodies of water also considered.

School grounds, children’s play areas, and sports pitches across the county will remain no-go zones for dogwalkers.

An area reserved for the breeding of the Lapwing species of bird in Garn Lakes will also remain off limits.

The largest amount of exclusion zones would be found in the wards of Abersychan (17), Llantarnam (13), Panteg (12), and Blaenavon (10).

Torfaen council’s existing dog control regulations, which had been in place since 2013, were replaced by an interim PSPO last year.

But the authority wanted to review the scope of the legislation when council officers described the current number of dog exclusion zones as “unnecessary and unenforceable”.

A four-week consultation received 396 responses, with broad support shown for the dog fouling, lead-only areas and exclusion zones – but concern remained over some of the proposals.

“A number of respondents were concerned about the impact of these restrictions upon the dog walking community and expressed a view that the number of the exclusion areas should be kept to a minimum,” a report said.

“A number of respondents also stated that all exclusion areas should have adequate and clear signage in place.”

Members of the safety communities overview and scrutiny committee will consider the proposals on Wednesday March 28.