Council is urged not to alienate dog owners.

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A councillor has urged Honiton Town Council to be careful not to penalise dog owners as new control orders are drawn up.

The town council met last Monday to discuss a list of suggested amendments to East Devon District Council’s dog control orders.

Councillor Mike Allen said: “We need to be very careful here not to deliberately go against 40 or 50 per cent of Honiton’s population that own dogs.

“We need to debate this one.”

He urged the council to ensure the order was balanced and said the amendments suggested were ‘entirely unrealistic’.

Councillor Liz Tirard raised concerns over the problem of dog fouling, which she felt was very prevalent within the town.

She referred to accounts by residents recently published in the news and said it was a ‘major problem’.

“The situation some years ago when the dog order came in was that a society was set up to monitor it, which has fallen by the wayside,” she said.

Councillor Vivienne Ash added: “Dogs need to have good exercise. The problem is everyone will get penalised when there are a few who are not responsible.

“This is not the way forward – dogs need to have a good run.

“It needs more balance.”

Councillor Sharon Pavey raised concerns about the lack of safe places in the town to exercise dogs and the problem of dog fouling.

She said: “I don’t think there is anywhere safe in the town where I can run my dog - a lot of areas are too close to the road.”

The council’s main concern was to ensure owners had their dogs under control and problems of dog fouling within the town were addressed.

Councillors agreed to resolve the proposals on footpaths.

However, Councillor Vernon Whitlock said he will be speaking to the Honiton Dog Group about the other recommendations put forward and report back to the council for a further discussion to be held at a later date.

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