Dog owners have been told to keep their pets on leads at all times in one Melbourne council, even if it was a precious off-leash zone.

Police have been seen moving pet owners on in the Moonee Valley area after the rules came into effect last week.

In signs seen around the area, owners are told “Due to COVID-19 ‘social distancing’ requirements dogs are not to be exercised off-leash until further notice. If you are exercising throughout Moonee Valley all dogs are to remain on-leash until further notice,” the sign says.

Mayor Samantha Byrne said “The majority of our dog owners are very responsible dog owners. “We’re just noticing we have so many more people using our parks at the moment we need to do what we can to encourage social distancing.”