Calls for dog owners to keep their pets on leads along a stretch of seafront inhabited by protected birds have...
Been met with nods and exclamation of 'Well, yes, that seems sensible, under the circumstances'..?
...sparked an angry backlash.
What were the odds?!?
The area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Ramsar site, which is a wetland of international importance, particularly for its role as a waterfowl habitat.
Now, the authority is asking for feedback on the idea of enforcing lead use along the stretch as part of a consultation on its Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs), which govern rules around dog control, among other things. Initial responses have thrown up “substantial suggestions” that dogs should be made to wear leads.
From people who are keen on birds, and also people not keen on muddy pawprints on their clothes accompanying the cry 'He's just being friendly!' no doubt...
Among them is Tankerton resident Andrew McGuinness, who branded it “a terrible idea”.
“The question is whether off-the-lead dogs alter habitat and wildlife,” he said. “As far as I know there is only personal anecdote, but no scientific proof that an off-the-lead dog has altered either of these.
“Most of them are well-behaved off the lead.”
Well, yes. Most people aren't serial killers, but the ones that are cause a bit of damage, Abdrew...
“I live close by and the only problem I’ve really experienced in more than 10 years in the (proposed) area is the trouble with cyclists who won’t dismount or use designated routes.”
I'm not sure pointing out another group with an image problem caused by a selfish minority is going to help your case much, is it?
“This sort of Draconian suggestion is a sad measure of where ‘community’ has gone in recent times.
“At a time of Covid, extended lockdown and limited opportunities to exercise outdoors alongside one’s dog, why not clamp the dog to its owner’s leg and be done with it?”
Oh, extra points for bringing Covid into it!