Dog exclusion zones ahead
Exclusion zones at the northern and southern ends of Caroline Bay, aimed at enhancing protection of a colony of little blue penguins, are proposed in a dog control policy to be voted on by the Timaru District Council on Tuesday.
If given the go-ahead, the exclusion zones, along Marine Parade, at the southern end, and the Benvenue Cliffs, at the northern end of the bay, will be marked out by signage educating beach users about their responsibilities. They would operate from April 1 to September 30, the period when dogs are allowed on the bay.
This follows protests from the Timaru Penguin Group against a proposal to allow dogs on the beach during certain hours during the rest of the year.
Waimataitai Beach, north of the Benvenue Cliffs, and accessible from Caroline Bay at low tide, is a separate beach, where dogs are permitted year-round.
The zones are the major change to the status quo in the 15-page dog control policy drawn up by council environmental compliance manager Paul Cooper. Councillors are expected to vote on the 2018 consolidated bylaw and dog control policy at Tuesday’s meeting.
The other proposed change affects the conditions under which dogs can be present on Stafford St. Currently prohibited, except if being taken to a vet, or their owners live on the street, the pol- icy proposes dogs be permitted on premises where food is prepared and sold, provided businesses have managed this risk in their Food Control Plans
Dogs will continue to be prohibited at Aorangi Park, the Otipua Wetlands and the Claremont Bush Reserve.
Dogs, with the exception of working dogs, will be banned from schools, kindergartens, playcentres and all playgrounds.
Stafford St appears to be the only shopping area region-wide where dogs are banned - as they are allowed on leashes in shopping precincts in the Mackenzie, Waimate, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine.
The playing or training surface of any sports ground or sportsfield, swimming pool or other bathing place owned or controlled by the Timaru District Council is also out of bounds.
In his report, Cooper said there was a continuing problem with dogs fouling private and public places. Not only was it unsightly and a nuisance, but also a health risk.
‘‘Those taking dogs out in public are required to use or carry a leash at all times and to use a leash in designated dog-on-leash areas,’’ Cooper said.
Infringement notices would generally be the first course of action taken in such cases.
Where an owner was convicted of an offence or had received three infringement notices within 24 months, they would be classified as probationary owners, and not allowed to own any dogs other than were owned at the time the classification was made.
Where can we go? Barry deWit and Digby check out an area in Timaru to see whether dogs are allowed.