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At last, a hint of common sense in the great dog debate

PUBLISHED: 13:55 17 May 2007 | UPDATED: 14:32 07 September 2010

IT s always refreshing when politicians bow to the will of the people, though outside of elections (when they have no choice in the matter) it happens all too rarely. In recent years Camden Council has earned an unhappy reputation for ignoring public opin

IT's always refreshing when politicians bow to the will of the people, though outside of elections (when they have no choice in the matter) it happens all too rarely.

In recent years Camden Council has earned an unhappy reputation for ignoring public opinion, particularly when the results of its consultation processes are at odds with the council's own plans and ambitions.

The council is still determined to press ahead with various aspects of its dog control proposals, but at least it seems ready to compromise on the daft idea of ordering the people of the borough to keep their dogs on leads at all times.

If common sense prevails, as it seems it must, then dog walkers will not be faced with £80 fines just because their dogs have been sniffing around the rose bushes in Waterlow Park or in other open spaces.

But why did the council feel the need to legislate in this most traditional and enjoyable of pursuits in the first place? Dog walking has been around for centuries, favoured by kings, queens and plebs alike.

Why target ordinary dog walkers and their pets? Everyone knows that the real problem is a tiny minority of people who insist on keeping unsuitable breeds, and who seem to delight in parading them in a menacing manner, along with those who fail to behave in a sociable and responsible manner by keeping their dogs under proper control at all times.

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