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Calls for dog ban on beach

PUBLISHED: 09:57 03 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

GOVERNMENT officials look set to be asked to approve a ban on dogs from an area of beach at Old Felixstowe because the animals' mess is fouling the shore and sea.

P9 lead

By Richard Cornwell

richard.cornwell@ecng.co.uk

GOVERNMENT officials look set to be asked to approve a ban on dogs from an area of beach at Old Felixstowe because the animals' mess is fouling the shore and sea.

Dog owners have pledged to fight the proposal and 112 have already signed a petition against it and others have written letters.

Tourism chiefs say the scheme is a compromise and will only apply to the award-winning yellow flag area at The Dip between May and September.

A report to be considered by Suffolk Coastal's environment and housing committee next Thursday says the irresponsible action of some dog owners in not clearing up after their pets is creating a health risk and could jeopardise the Seaside Award the area has received two years' running.

"Inspection of the beach area at The Dip by officers has revealed that dog faeces accumulates on the beach, but as the beach is washed by the high tide twice per day this removes the faeces which have accumulated in between these times," said Deborah Robinson, director of environmental services.

"These faeces, although removed from sight, could however contribute to the faceal or coliform bacterial content of the seawater, or leave contamination on the beach itself."

The proposal – which it is recommended should be submitted to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for approval – would affect the area from Clifflands to Brackenbury.

Dogs would be banned from the beach for about 125 metres either side of The Dip and must be kept on leads on the prom, but outside this area would be free to use the shore while on a lead.

Other times of the year they would be free to roam.

The council has received a variety of views from dog owners and other beach users.

Dog owners asked for permits to take their pets on to the beach if they could prove they were responsible and would clean up, while others said that few people other than dog owners used the beach regularly.

Those without dogs feared children could be scared by animals not on a leash, said dog mess was a deterrent to allowing children to play in the area, and were fed up having to remove dog mess from around their beach huts.

Because of the time taken by government to deal with bye-laws, any new restrictions are unlikely to come into force until spring 2003.

n Dogs are banned from the main holiday beach between the Spa and Arwela Road from May to September.

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