Dog owners bite back over bans

A STEERING group has been formed to challenge East Devon District Council proposals to introduce new Dog Control Orders in Honiton.

A STEERING group has been formed to challenge East Devon District Council proposals to introduce new Dog Control Orders in Honiton.The Honiton Canine Friendship Group was formed at a public meeting in the town last week."Our main challenge will be to make regular contact with East Devon District Council and attend as many meetings as possible, plugging our support for a campaign to keep Honiton as free of dogs' mess as possible and to assure the powers that be of our genuine concern to encourage all dog owners to behave in a responsible manner," said steering group member and dog owner Ursula Squire.More than 75 people, including East Devon District Council's dog warden, attended the meeting, held in The King's Centre on Tuesday last week.Dog owners in Honiton fear proposed Dog Control Orders could radically curtail the freedoms of dogs and their owners at popular walking areas in the town, including the Glen.Mrs Squire, who organised the meeting with Nikki McNally, described public support at the event as "phenomenal".They would like to thank all those who attended and who generously contributed towards the cost of hiring the hall.In particular, they would like to thank Mel Turner and Jeremy Bateson, of Ottery Dogs, who gave "a really helpful presentation".Mrs Squire said their input at the meeting "paved the way for us, based on their own experiences of campaigning for the rights and freedoms of dogs".Mrs Turner, of Ottery Dogs, said: "We were amazed by the response the meeting received, which was supported by local councillors, the dog warden and Honiton and District Canine Society. "We gave a presentation on our experiences and have developed a DIY toolkit on how to set up and sustain this initiative, which we have shared with Honiton residents. "Mr Bateson, chairman of Ottery Dogs, added: "If we can share this with other towns, it could have a major impact on a zero tolerance approach to irresponsible dog ownership across East Devon."The first steering group meeting of Honiton Canine Friendship Group will take place on April 7.

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