Stratford District Council laat voorstel voor hondenriem vallendecember 4, 2019
The Stratford District Council has made a U-turn on its Park and Reserves Bylaw in relation to dogs having to be leashed on walkways. (File photo)
After proposing dogs would have to be leashed on walkways , a Taranaki council has made a complete U-turn.
The Stratford District Council received 40 submissions on its draft Parks and Reserves Bylaw, 38 of which opposed its suggestion for dogs to be leashed on popular walking tracks.
As a result the council has now decided dogs can roam freely with their owners on all walkways, apart from one section of the Western Loop where an agreement with the Department of Conservation (DOC) means they will have to be leashed.
Resident David Jordan was one of the two submitters who spoke at Tuesday’s Policy and Services Committee meeting, expressing his opposition to dogs having to be on a leash – and not just because he enjoys exercising his dog.
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“Just as important is the mental health side of things – for the dog and their owner,” Jordan said.
Jordan said his canine got great “pleasure” out of walking the tracks while off the leash.
“A sense of freedom in life is absolutely invaluable.”
He asked council how many dog attacks, or rushing dogs, had been reported on the Eastern Loop, Western Loop and Cardiff Walkway in the last five years, and said he was told there was no record of any.
Councillor Rick Coplestone agreed with Jordan’s opposition.
“Restricting dogs is foolish in my opinion.”
Councillor John Sandford said he had “sympathy for both camps” because knew there were people who were “petrified” of dogs.
As a result, Stratford Mayor Neil Volzke recommended the council look into signage stating dogs are off leashes in certain areas, and that all walkways are ‘leash free’ except for the Western Loop on the west of Brecon Rd.
The change to the Western Loop will start from February 1, 2020.
However, council planned to approach DOC to see if any changes could be made to the agreement.