Wildlife first

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - OUR WILDWORLD -

While I agree with a lot of the points Melissa Har­ri­son makes (Opin­ion, June 2018), I dis­agree that “ban­ning dogs from na­ture re­serves is miss­ing the point”. Some­times the mere pres­ence of a dog is wor­ry­ing for wildlife on a re­serve, as well as for some of the 74 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion who don’t own a dog and will be put off vis­it­ing re­serves by the nui­sance of un­con­trolled dogs.

Melissa is clearly a re­spon­si­ble dog owner, but I would sug­gest she is in the mi­nor­ity. Most dogs are owned by ir­re­spon­si­ble and un­trained own­ers, who visit re­serves out of ne­ces­sity to ex­er­cise their dogs rather than be­ing lovers of na­ture. Ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing for all pet own­ers should be the way for­ward, but re­serves should be closed to dogs for now to pro­tect our wildlife. Sharon Painter, Stafford­shire

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