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Tighter leash on area's dog-owners

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

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ANGRY dog-owners in Wadebridge have swamped the town council with objections to it introducing tough new by-laws banning their pets from recreation areas.

Three petitions and other letters criticising the move have been sent to the council. It has received six letters supporting the ban.

If town councillors decide in favour of the by-law, their staff will be given the powers to issue fixed penalty fines to owners.

The town council is seeking to prohibit dogs from entering children's play areas, the tennis courts and bowling green and cemetery.

And if an owner is caught with their dog off its lead in Egloshayle or Jubilee playing fields, they could also face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Wadebridge councillors say they have been forced to consider applying to Cornwall Council to issue their own fines because of the amount of dog mess in recreation areas and other problems that have occurred with dogs off their leads.

Failing to clean up after a dog or not complying with the new dog control order could result in a fine of £80 (reduced to £50 if paid within ten days), or prosecution.

Dogs will still be allowed to be exercised off the lead in Coronation Park, but owners will have to pick up their pets' mess.

Local resident Sarah Griggs, who started one of the petitions, said lots of people had signed it, and if the ban was introduced, responsible owners would suffer because of the antisocial behaviour of a minority.

"Only very few people refuse to pick up their dog's mess and I've had words with one or two myself.

"Like most people, I always pick up after my dog and so do the vast majority, you can see that because the dog bins are always full."

Mrs Griggs said banning dogs from exercising in Egloshayle playing fields would cause particular problems for elderly owners.

"They will find it very difficult to go to Coronation Park, and there has to be some sort of compromise reached with the town council over this,'' she said.

Mayor Tony Rush agreed it was an emotive issue in Wadebridge, but stressed his council was not "anti-dog."

He said: "I own a dog and so do a number of councillors. There have been signs up for 30 years telling people to keep their pets on a lead, and to pick up after them, but some are not doing it and it's not compatible for dogs to be running around where children play.''

Mr Rush said councillors would take into account residents' views before making a decision on the by laws.

A report on the ban will be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday at 7pm, which the public can attend.

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  • Longdogger  |  October 31 2012, 8:48PM

    Why would dogs need to enter the children's play areas, the tennis courts and bowling green and cemetery???

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  • mugshot  |  October 31 2012, 9:36AM

    oops...for 'floated' read 'flouted' !

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  • mugshot  |  October 31 2012, 9:33AM

    This is not a new bye law, but one that was deemed necessary about 15 years ago when it was introduced. It has been continuosly floated since then, and the powers being sought by the council will make it possible to enorce it more efficiently. After having my dog, which was on a lead as requested by the numerous signs, panicked to the extent that it almost pulled me over, I am all for it. The owner of the pestering dog then had the nerve to tell me I was causing a 'situation' because my dog was not free to escape. Sadly I no longer walk my dog in the area because it is simply not pleasurable, as there is always a dog off the lead.

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  • wade_jinker  |  October 30 2012, 5:16PM

    This is good news! It's about time action was taken in this matter. I'm so sick of off the lead dogs, whose owners have no control over, 'attacking' my dog whilst out walking. However the final straw for me was when I was in the playing fields playing ball with my 2 year old & a loose dog came after our ball! It's of no surprise that I wasn't best pleased about a strange dog coming near my 2 year old! What's it going to take for something to be done - an attack on someone? As for the dog mess - it's no surprise - the amount of irresponsible owners who just walk off without watching their dogs messing in the park/path.

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  • kimmyp  |  October 26 2012, 2:08PM

    "Like most people, I always pick up after my dog and so do the vast majority If that is the case why is it that dog mess is always at the top of the complaints list in most towns, why is my street always covered in dog mess and why am I having to constantly wash dog wee off my doorstep? I have never heard a dog owner ever admitting they don't pick up, it's always someone else. If the dog waste bins are full have any of the responsible dog owners informed the council, if the council knows which bins are used more than others they can change the frequency of emptying them, and if they are full take it home, your dog your poop.

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