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Thursday Dec 13, 2012

Summer dog ban extended to over half of Cape Town's beaches

Dogs are banned from more than half of the Cape Town's 72 public beaches for the summer and owners can be fined between R300 and R500 if they contravene the new regulations.

Meeka enjoys Camps Bay beach while she can.

The city finalised the list of dog-free and dog-friendly beaches yesterday and has implemented the new policy since December 1 in a bid to reduce conflict between dogs and beachgoers.

Dogs are now banned from 48 beaches. Previously, owners were allowed to walk their dogs on beaches in the mornings and evenings.

Some of the most popular beaches where dogs are no longer allowed include Clifton 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Fish Hoek main beach, Strandfontein, Monwabisi, Bikini Beach and Gordons Bay.

The beaches where dogs are allowed without a lead include Clifton 1st, Clovelly, Glen beach, Long beach and Milnerton Lagoon.

Camps Bay was on the banned list but, after a meeting between Camps Bay residents and their local ward councillor, Beverly Schaefer, they are now allowed to walk their dogs in the mornings until 8.30am.

Camps Bay Ratepayers' and Residents' Association chairman Chris Willemse said: "Camps Bay residents were upset that they could no longer walk their dogs and there was also a concern from Glen beach residents, where dog walking is allowed, that there would be congestion or overcrowding of dogs."

He said they had formed a group to monitor compliance with regulations. Willemse said between 20 and 30 people walked their dogs each day on Camps Bay beach. "We just have to make sure that people are responsible and that they clean up.

"We have to be careful to accommodate everyone because Camps Bay is a Cape Town beach and we have people coming from all over the world during summer." Schaefer said: "I've been to the dog-free beaches and so far we've had no problems. There are still some dog-friendly beaches at Mouille Point, Sunset beach in Sea Point and opposite Winchester Mansions on the lawn area."

The city's executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said: "The fine for an owner who permits his dog to be on a beach where no dogs are permitted is R500. The fine for owners who do not keep their dogs on a leash where applicable is R300." Owners who permit ferocious dogs in a public place or who urge any dog to attack a person or animal can be fined R2 000. A list of dog-free, dog-friendly and dog-free running beaches will be published on the city's website.

Cape Times

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