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New Dog Control Policy expected this week

20 November 2003

Changes to the Christchurch City Council’s Dog Control Policy are likely to be ratified at the next full Council meeting on Thursday 20 November, according to Councillor Sue Wells, chair of the Council’s Regulatory and Consents Committee.

Among the most important amendments are new restrictions on dog access to popular parts of local beaches, between 8am and 8pm, during daylight saving.

Dog owners will not be allowed to take their dogs on to Sumner Beach between Gollans Point (commonly known as Mr Whippy Corner) and Cave Rock during the months of daylight saving. The area from Gollans Point to Shag Rock will be available for leash free dog exercising, although dogs will have to be under effective voice control.

Dogs will also have limited access to the area from the surf club at New Brighton to a point 100 metres south of the pier. Restrictions will also apply to the areas 100 metres either side of the surf clubs at Spencer Park beach, Waimairi beach, North Beach and South Brighton beach. Dogs will only be allowed in these areas for the purpose of passing through and will have to be on a short leash.

“These changes have been recommended to improve hygiene and safety standards in popular Christchurch beach areas during the summertime,” said Cr Wells. “This is not a draconian measure to penalise dog owners. We ( the Council’s Dog Control Working Party) were most impressed by the level of responsibility expressed by dog owners in submissions made on the Draft Dog Control Policy,” she said

“Most beach areas will still be available for dogs to enjoy. The new restrictions will apply for just six months of the year, effecting only 1.2 kilometres of more than 19 kilometres between the Waimakariri River mouth and Southshore Spit.”

Under the new policy, a number of ecologically sensitive sites have also been added to the list of public spaces, where dogs are prohibited or required to be restrained. “These regulations are designed to protect birds in important wildlife areas from being disturbed or harmed by dogs,” Cr Wells said

In the Styx Mill Conservation Reserve area, for example, dogs will need to be kept on a short leash on designated walking paths as they are walked to the Styx Mill Reserve Dog Park. When a predator proof fence has been erected, dogs will be prohibited in the wildlife area and will need to take an alternate route to the dog park.

Dogs will also be prohibited in areas such as Cockayne Reserve, Naughty Boys Island, McCormacks Bay Roosting Islands, Bromley Oxidation Ponds, Linwood Paddocks and the adjacent Avon-Heathcote Estuary shoreline.

Among additions to the list of areas, where dogs need to be restrained, are Bexley Wetlands, Cranmer Square, Ferrymead Historic Park, Latimer Square, Mona Vale and South New Brighton Spit Tip.

The amended policy also includes the requirement that dogs not be allowed within one metre of children’s play areas in parks. The public must be consulted on this section of the policy before it can be made legal.

Dog owners and the public were given the opportunity to comment on all proposed changes to the Dog Control Policy earlier this year.

Further details of the new policy will be made available to the public, after it has been ratified by the Council.

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