December 8 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Monday, March 19, 2012
Opposition to proposals which could force dog owners to keep their pets on leads in many of Haringey’s public spaces is gaining support.
Responsible Owners Against Restrictions (ROAR) formed as a reaction to Haringey Council’s plans to introduce dog control orders.
ROAR has already attracted 115 members to its Facebook group, and has been backed by Battersea Dogs’ Home and Wood Green Animal Shelter.
Under the council’s plans, dogs could be required to be be on a lead on Haringey’s streets, public spaces and smaller parks – and would be completely banned from Russell Park in Wood Green.
It would be up to council officers and police to enforce the bans and requirements.
The proposals have been put out for consultation, but ROAR says they will punish law-abiding residents, making it harder for them to freely exercise their dogs, while those with problem dogs – including those bred for fighting – will carry on doing as they please.
Veterinary nurse Sarah Turnball, 38, of Colney Hatch Lane, Muswell Hill, said of the proposals: “The restrictions they are proposing really do not tackle the issues. People who do not actually adhere to the law still won’t.”
Miss Turnball and other ROAR members are urging dog owners to express their opposition.
But Cllr Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for the environment, said responsible owners have “nothing to fear”.
She said: “We’ve received complaints about unruly dogs from police, residents and Friends Of Parks groups and these orders would give us an opportunity to challenge irresponsible owners and take action where and when necessary.
“In the first instance, we want feedback from residents and groups so we can clearly identify problem areas, particularly in parks and open spaces, where orders would be helpful. We will then undertake formal consultation based on these initial soundings.”
Miss Turnball is not convinced. She said: “They need to get their legislation [on dangerous dogs] right before they put more down.”
She continued: “There really is no such thing as a dangerous dog – just a dangerous owner.”