Dog ex­clu­sion zones ahead

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - AL WIL­LIAMS

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.

PHOTO: JOHN BISSET/STUFF

Where can we go? Barry deWit and Digby check out an area in Ti­maru to see whether dogs are al­lowed.

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