Dog owners feel marginalised by council proposals

PUBLISHED: 06:43 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:55 15 June 2010

AS East Devon District Council considers implementing a set of new Dog Control Orders, which would ban pets from named public spaces or require that they are kept on leads, dog owners have until Friday to comment.

AS East Devon District Council considers implementing a set of new Dog Control Orders, which would ban pets from named public spaces or require that they are kept on leads, dog owners have until Friday to comment.Some say the consultation period is not long enough and that dog owners have been given too little information, too late to respond. A second consultation will follow.In Honiton, dog lovers are concerned that the proposed control orders include the Glen, where pets would have to be kept on leads.Lifelong dog owner Ursula Squire, of Honiton, wants to protest.She enjoys walking her seven-month-old lurcher, Stella, at the Glen and wants to be able to continue their walks there. She wonders which generation is earmarked to benefit from regeneration work at the beauty spot."Those of us who use the Glen daily are thrilled with how much it has improved over the last 18 months and do all in our power to maintain it, even down to picking up after dogs whose owners haven't bothered," she said."All my dog-owning friends pick up after their pets, and I would certainly challenge anyone who didn't."I would be far more apprehensive about challenging a youngster throwing cans about, breaking bottles, dropping copious amounts of litter or ripping wood off the benches."Mrs Squire is concerned to note that, on East Devon District Council's website, dogs are listed alongside rats and vermin.She said: "Dogs, for those of us who cherish them, are only too aware that they are great company for an enormous number of people and bring pleasure and a real sense of purpose into many lives."Dogs, like humans, need the opportunity to exercise, socialise and play in their own way, unrestricted by the normal confines of a lead."Mrs Squire says she is urging 'the powers that be' not to make life any more difficult for dog owners by penalising those who are responsible and without transport to go further afield.Rosemary Lines is distributing posters, warning dog owners of the consultation deadline."Many of us have only heard about this in the past few days and it really needs highlighting to other dog owners," she told the Herald.Mountbatten Park and Allhallows Playing Field in Honiton are among the areas proposed for a dog ban.Dog owners could be required to keep dogs on leads on a large number of named footpaths in the town.In Axminster, the proposed control orders include the entire grounds of Axe Valley Community College and Axminster Community Primary School.Dogs could be required to be kept on leads in St Mary's Churchyard.In Seaton, it is being proposed that dogs be kept on leads on West Walk and at Tower Hill picnic site, and be banned completely from Cliff Field, Seafield and Festival Gardens, the Underfleet play area and skate park.A full list of proposals is available to view on the district council's website.What do you think? Are you in favour of stricter dog controls across East Devon - or against?Visit our website to comment, email us or write to the address on page 2.


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