Protest over dog ban scheme
OUTRAGED dog owners are today being urged to join a protest and make their voices heard over moves to ban their pets from the beach at Old Felixstowe.Proposals to fine pet owners £500 for walking their animals on the shore at The Dip in summer have already led to a stream of protests.
OUTRAGED dog owners are today being urged to join a protest and make their voices heard over moves to ban their pets from the beach at Old Felixstowe.
Proposals to fine pet owners £500 for walking their animals on the shore at The Dip in summer have already led to a stream of protests.
Now owners are being called to a protest meeting to co-ordinate their action and are invited to bring placards and sign a petition.
Organiser Fred Simpson, treasurer of Felixstowe Dog Training Club, said the event would happen at 9.30am on Tuesday March 9 at Golf Road car park.
"There are many dog owners who are very angry about this and that their rights are being taken away - and we need to make our voices heard," said Mr Simpson, of Leopold Road, Felixstowe.
"This by-law will be very unfair on dog owners and restrict further the places we have to walk our dogs, which are getting fewer and fewer.
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"Dogs do not cause a problem on the beach at The Dip. It is not a beach which is used that much, except on a very few hot sunny days in summer.
"Legislation already exists which makes it an offence, with a fine of £1,000, to allow a dog to foul the area and not pick it up.
"Under the Dangerous Dogs Act it is an offence to allow a dog to cause a person, child or adult, to be 'apprehensive'.
"The beach under consideration has been given a yellow flag Seaside Award for the last four years without having a dog ban.
"I walk with dogs from Golf Road to the Ferry at least five times a week and have noticed an improvement in the number of people who pick-up their dogs' heaps.
"This is partly due to the £1,000 fine but also down to pressure from dog clubs, members of the public and responsible owners persuading the non-pickers.
"We have two maxims: 'If we don't pick up today, we could walk in it tomorrow', and ' I pick up my dogs' heaps, why should I walk in yours?'."
He said the beach was washed twice a day by the tide and there had been no reported cases of the toxicaria canis disease which dog fouling can cause.
Protesters are hoping to persuade government either to reject Suffolk Coastal's proposed ban or to hold a public inquiry.
The council suggested the ban because the dog mess was fouling the shore and sea and it was feared it could jeopardise the Seaside Award.
It would make it an offence for anyone other than a registered blind person to allow their dog to go onto the beach from May 1 to September 30.
"To help us keep the Seaside Award, and The Dip's reputation for cleanliness, we think it is fair that there is part of the beach where families know dogs will not have fouled," said Andrew Nunn, cabinet member for the environment.
Anyone wishing to object should write to DEFRA , Litter and Dog Policy Team, 7/E8 Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DE, by March 22.
n What do you think - should dogs be banned from the beach? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN, or email EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk