‘I do not want to ban dogs’

Coun Kate Cairns called for a dog charter.
Coun Kate Cairns called for a dog charter.

A county councillor who called for a Northumberland-wide dog charter has stressed that she does not want to ban pooches from beaches.

Raising the issue as part of her county-council report, Longhoughton ward member Kate Cairns said: ‘One of the most common complaints to the AONB, and to me, is that of dog fouling.

‘I do not want to ban dogs on beaches. I do want a code of conduct, which can be promoted by dog-friendly businesses and where responsible dog owners are recognised and irresponsible owners are discouraged.

‘I called for a county-wide approach to this some months ago to aid parish councils and communities to deal with this in a coherent way. This has received cross-party support through several committees, resulting in the county council’s public-protection team adopting the Green Dog Walkers Responsible Dog Ownership campaign – www.greendogwalkers.org

‘The philosophy is to change attitudes so it becomes socially unacceptable to not clean up after your dog.

‘The scheme will launch in June with all parish councils invited. The fixed penalty fine for offenders has been increased to £100.’