Dogs may soon need to be on a leash in some Nelson City Council grazed reserves, according to a new draft proposal.
Nelson City Council is proposing a range of changes to the Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.
A report outlining the proposed changes was presented to the council’s environmental committee meeting, where councillors agreed that public consultation was needed.
Council manager environment Matt Heale said changes included introducing a prohibition of dogs within the planted area at Paremata Flats Reserve and that all grazed council reserves, excluding Paremata Flats, be designated onlead areas to avoid conflict between stock and dogs.
The grazed areas include the Grampians, Sir Stanley Whitehead Park, part of the Tantragee Reserve and part of the Maitai River esplanade reserve.
The report says council does not have the funding to manage these areas without grazing, something that is necessary due to the fire risk from overgrown grass and weeds.
“Dog attacks are one of the main problems with stock welfare, and consequently attracting and keeping graziers,” the report says.
The report said there were 35 sheep killed in the middle of lambing, and another eight in one incident during the Easter break.
This prompted the removal of stock from the Grampians.
The person who managed these areas was supportive of the grazed areas at Paremata Flats Reserve remaining an off-leash exercise area as long as there was adequate signage indicating “stock grazing — keep dogs under control”.
The proposal also suggests removing the Good Dog Ownership Policy, which sees 2500 dog owners receive a $19.50 subsidy on their annual registration when they meet certain criteria.
Matt says it’s a costly policy to administer and implement with $48,750 in lost revenue and roughly $16,500 in administration costs.
Monaco Reserve will change from an on-leash to an off-leash area after a petition was presented to council in 2014 with 66 supporting signatures asking for the change.
Nelsonians will be asked to give feedback on the proposed changes between January 27 and February 28, whether they own a dog or not.