It’s time for one last round to receive feedback and get comments before Overstrand Municipality is implementing trial dog zones on Kleinmond Main Beach, Grotto Beach in Hermanus and Pearly Beach near Gansbaai.

Each of these beaches will have a GREEN (off-leash), ORANGE (on-leash) and RED zone (no dogs).

It is true that not everyone likes dogs or wants to deal with dogs on a day out at the beach, especially when they have small children with them. Other than a fear of dogs there is also the possibility of an overly excited dog running or jumping on kids or peeing on sandcastles, which do not make for very happy children. Moreover, beach runners may prefer a beach without dogs as dogs with a high prey/chase drive may chase/attack a runner.

But many people also enjoy dogs on beaches. There is very little more beautiful than an animal thoroughly enjoying itself in nature and being free. And this is true also for birds and other wild animals.

With the new dog zones, the needs of our companion animals, wildlife and beach-goer are taken in to account.

It is not just about the birds, says Nature's Valley Trust, who facilitates this proposal: “Zoning will help people, dogs and our shorebirds live their best lives.”

THE MAPS

The proposal is available for perusal during office hours at the offices of the Area Managers in Gansbaai, Stanford, Hermanus and Kleinmond, in all the public libraries in the Overstrand and the Corporate Head Office of the municipality in Hermanus, as well as the official website at www.overstrand.gov.za click on Documents, click on Strategic Documents and Dog Zoning.

Kindly take note, comments regarding trial dog zones must be specific to the proposed trial areas as specified on the maps.

Once the proposed zones to allow dogs to be walked on/off leash have been established, the existing By-Law for the Keeping of Dogs and Cats will have to be amended accordingly. Proposed amendments to the by-law will follow a public participation process for comment before being presented to Council for consideration and possible adoption.
Please send feedback or comments on or before Friday, 6 March 2020 to:

… and as reminder
WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH DOGS AND BIRDS ON BEACHES?

"My dogs have never chased, caught or killed any bird on the beach."

This statement is probably true for most of us. But the reality is that it's not about the direct physical harm your dog can do to a bird.

  • Your dog is a predator
    Or at least that is what a bird would perceive it as, given your pup has all the physical characteristics of the type of predator birds have evolved to fear a 4-legged furry mammal.

  • Breeding success
    In Plettenberg Bay the breeding success of unmanaged local White-fonted Plover populations is less than 10%. Off-leash dogs were identified as the main cause of disturbance.

  • Shore-breeding birds breed in summer

    Our warmets season and time of year when tourists flock to our beaches. inthe heat of summer, shorebirds incubate to cool their eggs down. So, the more times a bird is disturbed off its eggs by people or dogs, the slimmer the chance those eggs will survive the hatch.

    The thermal capacity of an egg is 42˚C -above this temperature eggs die. In peak summer it can take an exposed egg 5 minutes to reach its thermal capacity.

  • Intervention
    With intervention of extensive public awareness, zoning, signage and rope enclosures, beaches have experienced an increase in breeding success, of up to 30%.