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Portelet dog ban called for due to irresponsible owners

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IRRESPONSIBLE owners could force a dog ban at Portelet Harbour during the summer.

The sign is quite clear, but fisherman Mick Smith, who has moored his boat at Portelet Harbour for many years, says it is being ignored and this week he had to clear a bag of dog poo from his dinghy. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28423567)

Parish officials said dog mess and people not controlling their pets had been a problem there for years and it was getting worse.

Bags of dog poo are left regularly on the ledge at the top of the beach, on the sand, or even thrown in boats despite there being a proper bin for them near the top of the slipway.

Moorings committee member Mick Smith, 68, has moored his fishing boat at the harbour for most of his life.

When he went down there yesterday, he found someone had thrown a bag of dog faeces into his dinghy. The bag had split and its contents had been diluted by rain.

‘My dinghy was a cesspit of dog poo,’ he said. ‘There was quite a bit of water in it and it stank to high heaven. I had to tip it up and clean it out by hand.’

Mr Smith said he picked litter up from the beach regularly but he refused to clear up dog mess and complaints about it were constant.

There was also a problem with people failing to keep their dogs under control. People having a picnic often had to contend with the unwanted attention from dogs.

A swimmer who used the beach regularly recently turned around and went home when they saw 10 dogs in the water. Mr Smith said he had often been chased by dogs while driving on the beach.

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‘Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to run around like that uncontrolled, but it hasn’t stopped owners from accusing me of trying to run the dogs over,’ he said.

Parish constable Sue Aldwell said the douzaine had been getting complaints for about 13 years.

‘A person who contacted us recently said his son had uncovered a bag of dog poo while digging in the sand and he had been equally horrified on another occasion when he saw a bag of dog poo floating near his son while he was swimming.

‘The man said that dog poo was toxic, he was a dog owner himself but he thought something needed to be done.’

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Mrs Aldwell said the current situation was brought about by the selfishness of some people and behaviour that was frankly disgusting.

The constables had written to Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services in March and September 2017 asking if something could be done.

In October 2018 they got a reply saying it was hoped that a review of the 1992 control of dogs ordinance could be carried out in 2019.

‘When we wrote again at the end of 2019 to see if something could be done specifically for Portelet, we were told that no review had been done as funding had not been available,’ said Mrs Aldwell.

It was the actions of some dog owners which had led to the need to suggest that dogs should be banned from Portelet during the summer.

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains
News reporter

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