Victory for Larne pet owners after dog ban plan scrapped

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Controversial plans to ban dogs from children’s play parks and sports pitches in Larne have been scrapped amid a flurry of public opposition.

Almost 100 areas in Larne, Carrick and Ballymena were to become exclusion zones, including the popular locations such as Sandy Bay and Antiville playing fields.

But the proposals by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council garnered a chorus of condemnation from local dog owners, with campaigners on social media blasting the measures as “draconian, inhumane and ill-considered”.

Thousands of people signed a petition to put pressure on the local authority to abandon the

contentious move.

And objectors are now claiming a victory, after the council announced it was withdrawing the consultation process on the planned Dog Control Order in a bid to “avoid any further distress or concern to local residents”.

The news was welcomed by dog owners, many of whom felt they were being penalised for the actions of an irresponsible minority.

This is not the first time that Larne pet lovers have banded together to reverse a council decision. Back in 2012, Larne Borough Council was forced to backtrack on plans to ban dogs from local beaches, after the proposal was met with

fierce opposition.

Despite the u-turn over play parks and playing fields, MEA Council is still pressing ahead with plans to introduce a number of other Dog Control Orders, including restricting access to Carnfunnock Country Park, and requiring pets to be on a lead on beaches and pavements, as well as in parks and cemeteries.

While some of these measures are already in place in the Larne area – having been introduced by the former Larne Council – the new super council has embarked on a review of the Dog Control Orders to “ensure harmonisation” across Mid and

East Antrim.

These remaining proposals will be consulted upon until June 19, with a number of scheduled information clinics across the borough to go ahead as planned.