Kennel Club launches initiative to give dogs more freedom
Are dogs slowly being wiped out of society? With beaches and parks all following the trend of banning dogs, where will we go dog walking? Several beaches in England now have a dog ban during certain months of the year, usually May through to September which see the beaches get busier due to better weather however this is the time that dog walkers need places to take their dogs when it was hot inside and they can run off some energy, get exercise and cool off in the sea. There are also dog bans on certain parks in England, a great open space for dogs to run around off the lead and play. For those owners without a huge garden for them to run, this is the perfect place for dogs however now the council is clamping down and turning these areas in dog free zones with a fine if your dog enters that area. Dog walking has been banned in over 200 places in London with other towns and cities set to follow suit. With dogs being banned from beaches, open parks and some nature reserves it would only upset dog owners when they found out in some areas you must now keep your dog on lead at all times. A council spokesman defended this scorched-earth policy against canines by saying the council had ‘struck a balance between the population who want to enjoy the beauty of our open spaces and the needs of dog owners’. Whilst the council is trying to keep everyone happy it would seem to dog owners that they are being singled out and not looked after as in certain areas it is now hard to find an open space where your dog can freely run. The Kennel Club performed a survey with two thousand dog owners and more than two fifth of these dog owners felt unwelcome in public places and agreed that this is getting worse year on year. Due to these statistics the Kennel Club have now launched a campaign called ‘Open for Dogs’ which has been set up to encourage businesses all over England to welcome dogs into their establishments. Many pubs already allow dogs inside as long as they are well behaved which is fantastic however other establishments such as cafes, shops and public transport shun all dog owners with their dogs making life on a walk difficult not knowing which establishment will allow your custom. Many dog owners question the reasons for their dogs being banned from certain places and having to be on leads in other places. Is it due to other members of the general public having a fear of dogs? If that is the case, what happens to people who have a fear of cats who are always wondering around freely? Could it be to prevent dog fouling? This also isn’t a reasonable statement as whether they are allowed in a certain area or not dogs will still need walking it would just be more on public pavements. Is it due to the ability to fine dog owners if there dog trespasses onto certain areas? With some beaches fining £500 for trespassing there is a lot of money to be made by fining and this seems to be the most popular answer with dog owners. With the population of dogs in the UK on the rise, it would be foolish to begin banning dogs from certain open areas for dogs to run freely and enjoy their time outside especially on public parks which the taxpayers pay for. They should be able to enjoy the areas in which they pay for.