Council cancels ‘flawed’ dog control consultation

Archive picture.  INCT 01-403-RM
Archive picture. INCT 01-403-RM

Controversial proposals to introduce dog control orders within Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have been scrapped.

Last week, the local government authority announced a public consultation on the orders, which sought to ban dogs from certain public spaces.

However, the plans created a backlash among local residents, with thousands signing a petition calling for the proposals to be rescinded.

Speaking to the Times, MEA councillor John Stewart indicated that the decision had been made during a meeting of council officials this afternoon.

“It’s my opinion that the consultation document should have been pulled because it was flawed,” he added.

“Responsible dog owners should not be penalised for the irresponsible actions of a minority. I’m glad that on this occasion common sense has prevailed.”

Also welcoming the decision was Carrick man Tony Barclay, who established the online petition. “I’m pleased that MEAC, though the intervention of local councillors as elected representatives of affected residents, have proven their value today,” he said.

“Hopefully serious lessons have been learned in this process, which was horrendously flawed from the outset. Any future projects should include affected groups from the outset, and not have to react to public pressure at a late stage.

“Now dog owners in the MEAC area can continue to enjoy the surroundings we are all blessed with. It is up to dog owners and handlers to ensure we act responsibly and clear up after our dogs to avoid further problems.”