Dog­fight over dog beaches

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Leah Roberts and Vic­to­ria Ri­fici

LO­CAL gov­ern­ments have is­sued ad­vice to dog own­ers in a bid to curb the num­ber of at­tacks at off-lead beaches this sum­mer.

The re­port fol­lows Face­book posts within com­mu­nity groups where peo­ple have shared sto­ries of their dogs be­ing at­tacked on beaches.

The City of Rock­ing­ham re­ported 12 dog fights in 2017 and eight the fol­low­ing year.

Fre­man­tle re­ported eight dog fights in 2018 and six in 2017, with Oc­to­ber to April be­ing a peak pe­riod.

The City of Cock­burn had six re­ported at­tacks in 2018 and seven in 2017.

City of Cock­burn rangers and com­mu­nity safety man­ager Michael Emery said warmer weather was a fac­tor in the fre­quency of in­ci­dents.

City of Joon­dalup act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Dale Page said over the past two years dog fights at off-lead beaches had de­creased in the area from eight in 2017 to six in 2018.

“Joon­dalup is home to one of the largest dog pop­u­la­tions per lo­cal gov­ern­ment area in Aus­tralia and the on­go­ing ed­u­ca­tion of own­ers is cru­cial when it comes to re­duc­ing the po­ten­tial of con­flict be­tween dogs and other an­i­mals and peo­ple,” she said.

City of Wan­neroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said three at­tacks on dog beaches were recorded in 2017 with six in 2018.

Daily beach dog walker Jane Craw­ford said the sum­mer hol­i­day pe­riod was worst for in­ci­dents.

“Ev­ery Tom, Dick and Harry who has had their dog locked up while at work for the rest of the year comes down to the beach in the hol­i­days and their dogs aren’t so­cialised,” she said.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments have is­sued ad­vice to dog own­ers to pre­vent at­tacks on beaches this sum­mer.

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