DOGS ARE looking more and more likely to be banned from many of the UK’s 4,400 km of coastline, following further moves by local authorities up and down the country to introduce dog control orders under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, which allow them to restrict dogs’ access to beaches or ban them altogether.
The Kennel Club is still campaigning hard to keep beaches open for dogs, and has suggested amendments to the Marine & Coastal Access Bill currently going through Parliament which, if successful, would prevent local authorities placing dog control orders on beaches.
KC Dog, the group established by the Kennel Club to monitor implementation of dog control orders, believes at least 120 councils have already used these powers, around 60 of which have imposed restrictions or bans on beaches. The dog owning public are therefore being urged to ask their local MP to support the amendments when the Marine and Coastal Access Bill is debated in the House of Commons and support Early Day Motion 1126: ‘Coastal Access for Dog Walkers’ which has been laid by Ian Cawsey MP
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “With over 4,000 km of coastline England is the perfect place to enjoy a stroll along the beach with your dog.
“Unfortunately dog owners are at serious risk of losing access to vast stretches of the coastline because of the increasing number of dog control orders being used to ban them from or restrict their access to England’s beaches. So long as dog owners behave responsibly there should be no reason not to allow them on the English coastal route.”
“There are so many benefits of dog ownership in terms of human health – from the physical benefits of regular walking to the positive effect of a dog’s companionship on its owner’s mental health. With so many encroachments on access to public space these benefits could be lost if dog ownership becomes less and less viable due to the lack of areas in which dogs can be walked.”
However earlier this year Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Tyler said that banning dogs from the English coast would be like “using a sledgehammer to crack a really insubstantial nut”.
With a pet dog population of around 8 million Lord Tyler described public access for dogs in the UK as “not a minority interest” and stated that up to half of all walkers are accompanied by a dog. The Kennel Club is campaigning to keep beaches and land within the English coastal route to be created under the Marine & Coastal Access Bill, open for dogs by making the land exempt from the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to introduce dog control orders.
For further details on Kennel Club campaigns including campaign materials visit www.thekennelclubcampaigns.org.uk To join KC Dog, the Kennel Club’s free information group for responsible dog owners visit www.kcdog.org.uk
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What about the people who mess up the beaches - broken bottles, used condoms, cigarette butts.
Keep the dogs on beaches, they are cleaner than most people.