Pet protest at seafront ban

DOG owners across the Weston area have reacted angrily to plans to ban dogs from one of the town's most popular walking spots. The picturesque stroll along the beach from the Grand Pier to Royal Sands has been a summertime treat for canines and walkers al

DOG owners across the Weston area have reacted angrily to plans to ban dogs from one of the town's most popular walking spots.The picturesque stroll along the beach from the Grand Pier to Royal Sands has been a summertime treat for canines and walkers alike for decades.But under new plans due to be voted on next week, North Somerset Council wants to ban dog walkers from the sandy stretch all year round. The proposals also include banning dogs from fenced-in play areas and continuing the ban along the north of the beach and the walkway around Marine Lake.The planned new laws are based on the results of a consultation with parish and town councils.Sarah Emery is a qualified veterinary nurse who runs Little Orchard dog training centre in Rooksbridge. She has walked her dogs along the Weston beach countless times and knows many who do the same.She said: "Banning dogs from public areas is not going to address any problems associated with dogs. Many families enjoy walking along the seafront with their pets and they will just find alternative public places. "Although we have these strict dog laws they are inconsistently enforced and the public need both a clearer understanding of the laws that exist and all authorities need to consistently enforce them."Leaving dog mess in a public area is one of the most irresponsible things you can do as a dog owner. The small minority that don't clean up are giving all dog owners a bad name."The new regulations are part of the Clean Neighbourhood and Environments Act and the council hopes to have them in place by April. Councillors will decide whether they will implement the new rules at a meeting of the authority's executive on Tuesday.Councillor Deborah Yamanaka, executive member for environment and community, said: "Dog fouling is one of the most common complaints from residents. Most dog owners are very good but we have to take action where it is needed for the irresponsible minority. This increase in dog control areas shows that we take the complaints seriously and will do as much as we can to encourage dog owners to keep the streets clean.


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