Openbare opvattingen gehoord over Nelson Dog Control Bylawapril 25, 2020
Alden Williams/Fairfax NZ
Walking with your dog off-lead in the Grampians could soon be a thing of the past, though the suggestion wasn’t popular in public submissions (file photo).
Proposed changes to Nelson’s dog control bylaw, including more areas where dogs are required to be leashed, are being opposed as “heavy-handed” by some owners.
A Nelson City Council environment committee meeting was hearing public submissions on the proposed bylaw changes on Tuesday.
The feedback process for Nelson’s proposed new dog control bylaws was unaffected by Covid-19, but the hearing of submissions was scheduled for March 24. It was rescheduled after the level four lockdown to April 21.
Some major proposed changes included removing the council’s Good Dog Owner policy, changing some designated off-leash areas to be on-leash, and banning dogs from part of the Delaware Estuary.
One proposed change which proved controversial with the public was the proposal to make the Grampians Reserve and other grazed areas on-leash only.
A submission from Dinah Thomson said it felt like a “very heavy handed policy punishing the many for the bad behaviour of the few”.
“The majority of dog owners wouldn’t risk having their dog destroyed by having them off the lead around sheep if they aren’t confident of control [over the dog].”
Thomson said people supporting the leashing of dogs was “often a knee-jerk reaction from people who imagine the problem is much worse than it is”.
Another submission from Natalie Gousmett said it was a “massive reduction” in space for exercising dogs, without enough additional space provided elsewhere.
However, there was some support for the move. Bryce Buckland said sheep grazed on potential fuel sources for fires and did not otherwise damage their surroundings.
“The use of animals to reduce the build up index (a measure of how difficult it would be to extinguish a fire once started) has been used with considerable success … Sheep appear to be the best option.
“But we cannot have dogs molesting and injuring them.”
The environment committee meeting was being held via Zoom and would be available for the public to watch on the city council’s YouTube page afterwards.