Torridge dog curb plans are 'draconian'

PET owners on Torridgeside are furious over new dog control plans by the district council. They have launched a petition entitled Torridge District Council Is Barking Mad, which alleges that the proposals are draconian and not fair to our dogs. The coun

PET owners on Torridgeside are furious over new dog control plans by the district council. They have launched a petition entitled Torridge District Council Is Barking Mad, which alleges that the proposals "are draconian and not fair to our dogs."The council is carrying out public consultation on proposals that include an order to clean up after dogs in all public places, requirement that dogs are kept on leads on all roads, pavements, verges and footpaths, plus pedestrianised areas, promenades and allotments and also in parks. Those in charge of dogs would also be required to put them on leads in all parks under the council's control and on beaches and the foreshore, if told to do so by an authorised officer.Dogs would be excluded from enclosed children's play areas, skateboard parks and leisure facilities and signed foreshores and beaches.Under the new controls the district council intends to issue fixed penalty notices to those who fail to comply. Payment would be �80 within 14 days or �50 if paid within 10 days.Existing dog laws, including that all dogs should wear a collar and tag with the owner's name and address when in a public place, would remain.Petition organiser Anne Tattersall, a former Mayor of Torrington, said: "When walking my dog on Torrington Commons this is all the other dog walkers were talking about. They were totally outraged. This is so draconian. Dogs need to be let loose and run."Anyone wishing to know more about the petition can call her on 07971696192.Veronica Board of Bideford said: "Basic animal welfare includes properly exercising your dog. Reducing the areas in which people can walk their dogs could result in them not being properly exercised."I have met a large number of people who come to this area not only because it is a lovely place, but, more importantly, because they are able to bring their dogs and take them out to many places. In the current economic climate I would have thought it was the last thing the council should be doing to put another nail in the coffin of the tourist trade. "And how is Torridge Council proposing to finance the people needed to police the new dog control orders?"Torridge District Council leader James Morrish pointed out that this was connected with the Cleaner Neighbourhood Act, with which all district councils had a statutory duty to get involved.But he was concerned if there was something which worried a number of members of the public, he said.This was currently the consultation period and the council was keen to hear from anyone with concerns about the proposals, said Mr Morrish. A number of people had already done so.They could be assured that, after the consultation period, the matter would be put on the agenda of the council's Community and Development Committee and that the public would be notified when this was being held and be welcome to attend. It would then go on to the full council.This was absolutely not a done deal. They were not trying to push this through in an underhand way. The views of the public would be clearly heard, he said. Mr Morrish urged people to write into the council with their views and concerns under the consultation process. Petitions were fine, but individual letters stating where people lived and how the proposals would affect them, could have more impact, he said. Consultation continues until March 23 and comments can be sent in writing to Dog Control Orders Consultation, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford EX39 2QG or via e-mail to:- dogcontrolorders@torridge.gov.uk.


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