Dog walkers plea for walking restrictions to be lifted

Thanet dog owners have called for the annual dog walking ban to be lifted during lockdown.

May 1st marks the first day where dogs are not permitted on beaches in Thanet and its surrounding areas, between the times of 10am and 6pm.

Dog walking restrictions are put in place by authorities to ensure that tourists and visitors can enjoy the Kent coast without having to worry about issues such as dog walkers not cleaning up their pet’s mess.

But amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not likely that Thanet beaches will be welcoming sun-seekers anytime soon.

Many locals have voiced their concerns via local Facebook groups, saying how they believe that keeping the rules in place could potentially put an end to the current lockdown restrictions.

Among those concerned with the measures is Karen Daniels, a Cockapoo owner from Margate, Kent.

“I understand why the annual ban is put in place, and ordinarily I would respect that, but I don’t see how enforcing these measures now is going to help in any way whatsoever,” said the dog owner. “If we’re not allowed on the beach between certain hours, there’s going to be a sudden increase in the amount of people who own dogs, who will want to go to the beach at the same time. I don’t see how this will comply with social distancing, to me it makes no sense. The beach huts aren’t even open, there aren’t going to be any people travelling to the seaside for holiday so really I think it makes the whole thing redundant.”

Karen’s Cockapoo enjoying a walk on the beach.

Although beaches in Thanet are widely affected by the ban, Dover district council have decided to relax the ban following a plea from the RSPCA.

A spokesperson has said that it is in a bid to prevent people from making unnecessary travel.

“In line with RSPCA guidance, we also urge people to keep dogs on leads where necessary to help ensure social distancing and avoid owners having to come into close contact with one another should they have to go and retrieve their dog.”

Canterbury council officials have also stated that they have no plans to lift the ban anytime soon, but wont however be issuing fixed penalty notices to those potentially flouting the rules.

Featured image courtesy of © pam fray