#Dogs May Get Kicked Off #Westward Ho! Beach
By Bideford_ppl | Saturday, May 19, 2012, 09:06
If you're one of the many responsible local dog owners who really appreciate being able to exercise your dog on the far end of Westward Ho! beach all year round you will not be pleased to hear that thanks to those less responsible (which always means the ones who don't scoop) Torridge District Council is now thinking about getting tougher about dog fouling and excluding dogs from more, maybe even all, of the beach.
The move could be one of five crack down dog orders in response to escalating complaints over antisocial dog behaviour and dog fouling in and around Bideford. The other measures will likely include increasing the fixed penalty for fouling offences to £75; imposing a dogs-on-leads order in public places like Victoria Park, excluding dogs from 38 Children's Play areas and introducing an on-lead order within 100 metres of livestock on Northam Burrows. This last measure is in response to an increase in the number of dog attacks on grazing livestock...especially sheep with 12 having been killed over the last two years and a further 13 injured in one single attack (by a dog which was then put down).
Apparently, the council's environmental protection team has now highlighted the worst hot-spot areas where owners are not cleaning up after their dogs and has increased its patrol efforts to catch the two-legged culprits and impose the fines; (bizarrely, one of these hot spots is just in front of the North Devon Maritime museum in Appledore!)
As usual, it's a case of a small number of irresponsible owners spoiling it for the rest of us but you will know, if you are a dog owner who has ever suggested to someone who is not scooping that they might like to clean up after their pet, the abuse you'll get will make you think twice.
That said, the council is now back on the case and asking all Bideford residents to report incidents of dog fouling and alert officers to fouling hot spots, old and new, that they may not yet have on their hit list.
Most of us dog owners are responsible and will not only scoop but walk the extra mile to find the designated dog-poo bin - when there is one. But anyone who has ever visited Welcombe beach, for example, in summer - where there is still no bin - will agree that when owners do scoop but then just dump the bags where a bin should be, the problem is just as bad. And the same goes on over on the burrows.
As dog owners, we're happy to work with the council to keep our town and the surrounding parks and beaches clean but the council also needs to step up its commitment to providing more (and emptying) the doggie doo bins they want us to use.