News

No play for dogs

Thursday, 13 April 2017

DOG owners caught walking their pets in any of the 94 council-owned children's play park areas face being slapped with an 80 fine.

From June it will be an offence for a person in charge of a dog to allow the animal to enter, or remain, in play park areas across the borough.

The new control order, however, will not prohibit dog walkers from entire parks, rather only children's play areas, council officials have stressed.

Areas affected by the new measure include Killylea play park, Middletown play park, Keady Glen Play Park, as well children's play parks in Markethill, Laurevale and Mountnorris.

Signage will be erected in coming weeks to alert park users ahead of June 1 when the new rule will come into effect.

The development appeared to get the thumbs up from the Ulster Gazette's Facebook audience, with one poster, Geraldine Fields writing that the move makes "perfect sense". "Dogs shouldn't be inside play park areas," she added.

A council official, meanwhile, explained that the new measure will "modernise and update existing park rules across the borough that already exclude dogs from play parks".

"Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council's primary consideration is to balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against the interest of those affected by the activities of dogs, bearing in mind the need for people, in particular children, to have access to dog-free areas", they said.

"[This] order updates and modernises existing provisions in a series of legacy byelaws or park rules in place across the Borough that already exclude dogs from children's play parks. Any offences will now be able to be dealt with more efficiently by way of issue of an 80 fixed penalty notice."

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