Rob Humphrys offers good advice to councillors that they should base decisions regarding on-beach dog restrictions on facts (Letters, Sentinel-Times, February 4).
Unfortunately, in providing statistics of people hospitalised from a dog related injury he forgot to mention that the vast majority of incidents, over 90%, occurred in the home.
There is no evidence that a dog on a beach poses more risk to children than a dog in any other public area. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true.
With regards to wildlife, statistically an on-leash dog is no more a danger to nesting birds than a person walking alone, and much less of a risk than a jogger.
Arguing that dog walkers should be banned from certain beaches because some allow their dogs off-leash at inappropriate times and/or places makes as much sense as banning everyone from driving after 6pm because some of them will drink and drive.
Regulations that force dog owners to unnecessarily use their cars, walk on unpaved roads, walk though heavily trafficked areas, and share footpaths with bicycles, decrease the likelihood of dog owners taking regular healthy exercise and increase the chance of serious injuries to both owner and pet.
Of course, off-leash areas should be located away from nesting bird sites.
Council could also play an important role in reducing poor owner behaviour around active nests through better signage and concentrating policing of dog regulations to sites and times where it actually matters.
Yes, regulations should be based on facts and, most importantly, should put the health and safety of people first and foremost, including dog owners.
Keith Finney, Inverloch.
Dog rules based on facts