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Letter: Not taking the lead on New Forest pet restrictions

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SIR – On 10th December last year, the A&T reported that the New Forest District Council member responsible for regeneration could categorically confirm that there will be no restrictions to off-lead dog walking in the Forest.

On 25th February the A&T reported the Official Verderer saying, in response to concerns about bacteria in dog mess that is harmful to cows, that “the sheer number of dogs being walked daily on the Forest means that unless things change this may prove to be a growing problem which could render keeping cattle on the Forest unviable", and this disease may also spread to the ponies.

Dogs off or on lead in the Forest?
Dogs off or on lead in the Forest?

So there you have it – the reality of our response to the planetary environmental crisis. On our local patch we will not even impose minor restrictions on our domestic pets to save the wild livestock in our New Forest.

And this from the councillor for regeneration! The irony is bleak indeed.

Peter Padfield,

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