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Dog Keep beaches open for dogs says Kennel Club


Access for dog walkers to England’s beaches is under increasing threat from the onslaught of beach bans being introduced by local authorities.

Of the approximately 90 local authorities with coastline under their jurisdiction, at least 60 have already banned dogs from some part of their beaches during the summer months, or in some cases all year round.

In light of the continued threat, the Kennel Club has proposed amendments to the Marine & Coastal Access Bill due to come before the House of Commons shortly, in order to ensure that England’s beaches remain open for dogs. The Bill will create a walking route around the entire English coastline, which the Kennel Club believes should be open to everyone, including responsible dog owners.

Since the introduction of dog control orders in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, many local authorities have continued to ban dogs and their owners from walking on their beaches during the summer months.

The wording of the orders, however, has sometimes left the public unclear as to whether or not they risk committing an offence by walking with their dogs on certain beaches. In Croyde Bay in Devon, for example, two different signs were erected - one stating that dogs may be excluded from May to September immediately above another stating that dogs were excluded from the beach May to December under a separate byelaw.

Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club’s Communications Director said: “The Kennel Club is deeply concerned that large swathes of the coastline could simply be made off limits to the dog-owning public if dog control orders are enforced on the land. The Bill already requires Natural England to identify all areas where restrictions are needed and we are confident that this is the best approach. We don’t want local councils subsequently undermining this important work.

We know that dog ownership has real benefits for people’s mental and physical health, and that having a suitable public place nearby is the most important factor for owners in deciding where to walk their dogs. It would be a real shame if beaches were to become no-go areas for responsible owners and their dogs.”

Dog owners are being encouraged to join the Kennel Club campaign by asking their local MP to support the amendments when the Bill is debated in the House of Commons. Further information and campaign materials are available from the Kennel Club’s website at: www.thekennelclubcampaigns.org.uk.

The Kennel Club is also urging the public to write to their local MP asking them to support Early Day Motion 1126: ‘Coastal Access for Dog Walkers’


 

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