I am writing in respect of the draconian measures being discussed as the rights for dogs to roam free.
I am no longer a dog owner, although I was for forty years, but I still felt a sense of outrage on reading the proposals.
When I was growing up in the forties and fifties there was much more freedom for everyone, including dogs. I feel sadness that this is being eroded everywhere.
One of the reasons cited for curbing a dog’s freedom is that it can pass on diseases.
In no way do I wish to minimise the trauma of anyone unlucky enough to catch such an infection but it is a very small risk.
A human is more in danger of catching infections from cats as they carry far more diseases that dogs do and, as one of your correspondents mentioned, they are free to roam anywhere and bury their business under the soil where it can’t be seen. Anyone gardening (or a child digging) could be then put in danger. However, it is again a minimal risk and cats need to roam - as dogs need to run!
Another reason mentioned why a dog should be on a lead was the danger they might pose to a young child. Here again it is being blown out of all proportion, as there are very few incidents of this happening compared to the number of dogs being taken for walks each day.
The majority are, once again, being made to suffer because of a small minority of lazy dog owners, who have never taught their dog where they should do their business and where it is most definitely not allowed. None of mine would do anything whilst on a lead. I let them off where I knew they were safe from traffic and where they could ‘perform’ without being a nuisance to anyone.
Let me say categorically that no dog can be properly exercised if kept on the lead all the time. It is actually extremely cruel. Saying that a dog can be allowed to run free on moorland is also most inappropriate. I would love to hear what the farmers who own sheep thin of such a statement!
Let’s hope some sense is brought to these proceedings. I would mention to dog owners that often restrictions are just the first step to a total ban, so fight these proposals all the way.
It might also be wise of any councillors wishing to be re-elected to remember that there have been very few protesters trying to ban dogs from huge areas, whereas there are a huge number of voters who own dogs.
Mrs Pat Hubbard