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The licensing of professional dog walking across London's eight Royal Parks will continue following a successful pilot, it was announced today.

The commercial dog walking scheme was introduced in April 2013 to address concerns raised by park users of a perceived increase in commercial dog walking and reported incidents of some individuals not being able to control the animals in their care.

The licence brought the dog walking industry in line with official park regulations, which require all commercial activity within the parks to have written permission.

Under the scheme, commercial dog walkers are asked to sign up to a professional code of conduct to minimise the impact on other park users and wildlife such as deer and wildfowl. The licence includes the condition that a maximum of four dogs can be walked at any given time and licence-holders must have insurance and a vet reference.

Details of all approved licence holders will be listed on The Royal Parks website. Anyone considering hiring a professional dog walker to operate in The Royal Parks is advised to consult this list first.

The licence costs £300 excluding VAT and lasts for a year (1 January -31 December). This equates to less than £1 a day and grants commercial access to over 5000 acres of parkland across London.

Dog walking businesses can now apply for their 2014 Professional Dog Walking Licence.

A detailed Q&A is available for download.

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