Ruff de­ci­sion

Mar­ket dog ban pro­posed

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

Ber­ri­gan Shire Coun­cil ex­pects a dog fight af­ter de­cid­ing to in­ves­ti­gate ban­ning pet pooches from the Tocumwal Fore­shore Mar­kets, but says com­mu­nity safety must take prece­dence.

At its meet­ing last week, coun­cil was forced to con­sider sev­eral for­mal com­plaints about dogs at the mar­ket.

Rang­ing from leash is­sues, to food han­dling re­quire­ments and po­ten­tial oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety and dan­ger risks, coun­cil­lors agreed a blan­ket ban on pets at the mar­ket may be the most ap­pro­pri­ate op­tion.

It will put the pro­posal on public ex­hi­bi­tion, invit­ing com­ment from the com­mu­nity.

In a re­port to coun­cil, shire de­vel­op­ment man­ager Lau­rie Stevens said most pet own­ers at­tend­ing the busy mar­ket were abid­ing with Com­pan­ion An­i­mals Act 1998 re­quire­ments that dogs be leashed at all times in public.

But he said reg­u­lar mar­ket­go­ers raised as­so­ci­ated con­cerns, say­ing that long leads cause haz­ards like trip­ping.

He said the safety of all mar­ket pa­trons was para­mount in putting a ban rec­om­men­da­tion to coun­cil.

‘‘There are also con­cerns that young chil­dren may suf­fer in­juries in­ad­ver­tently due to be­ing un­aware of the dan­gers posed by some an­i­mals,’’ Mr Stevens said.

‘‘In ad­di­tion there are a num­ber of food stalls where the prox­im­ity of an­i­mals has the po­ten­tial to cre­ate health is­sues.’’

Coun­cil­lor Matt Han­nan said while he un­der­stands dog own­ers may be dis­ap­pointed by coun­cil’s pro­posal, they are not be­ing left out of com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties al­to­gether.

‘‘Peo­ple should just take their dogs to (Fin­ley dog event) REXPO in Novem­ber,’’ he said.

Mil­lie Harris said while she would love to take her beloved pet San­dor, a Great Dane, to public events, she said she un­der­stands coun­cil’s po­si­tion. ‘‘It is a sen­si­ble idea,’’ she said. ‘‘Con­sid­er­ing peo­ple can’t as­sume a tem­per­a­ment of a dog, I think it’s best they stay at home. Not to men­tion the (mess) dogs leave about.

‘‘I also wouldn’t like to be an owner of a dog who does un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally bite a child.’’

Coun­cils dog ban pro­posal will be on public ex­hi­bi­tion un­til Septem­ber 4. Sub­mis­sions must be ad­dressed to the gen­eral man­ager or­[email protected] berri­g­an­shire.nsw.gov.au.

Mil­lie Harris, pic­tured with her Great Dane San­dor, thinks ban­ning dogs from the Tocumwal Fore­shore Mar­ket is a sen­si­ble move.

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