Pembrokeshire council to enforce fines for dogs on beaches
Dog owners who ignore bans on taking their pets on beaches in Pembrokeshire will face tougher penalties.
Ten out of more than 60 beaches in the county have partial or total bans on dogs between March and September.
But following complaints, Pembrokeshire council voted to introduce on-the-spot fines for anyone caught with a dog on a beach with a ban in place.
Fines of £75 will be issued by a private firm as well as the council's own officers who will be on patrol.
Councillor Pat Davies, cabinet member for housing and regulatory services, said: "We constantly have complaints every year from people about dogs on beaches.
"We want to keep our beaches clean, safe and family friendly, so this is an ideal opportunity to achieve this with fixed penalty notices."
The council acknowledged many tourism businesses relied on visitors bringing their dogs on holiday but said it was a balance between welcoming dog owners and keeping everyone else happy.
She added: "Our accommodation welcomes dogs so it is a balancing act but we do feel that because of public concern, we do need to implement these fines rather than the lengthy prosecution process."
The decision brought a mixed response from dog owners.
Lisa Vanos, from Newport, said: "I don't think that's fair at all. I don't know why dogs are banned anyway. Most owners are responsible and clear up after their dogs. I don't think you can tar everyone with the same brush."
But David Barnes from Manchester said the rules would not put him off coming to the area.
"If there's a rule that says no dogs on the beach it should be followed," he said.
"It's like a rule for anything else like not parking in a particular area.
"It is difficult being a dog owner sometimes finding a beach you can go on but at the same time you've got to respect people who want to go on a beach where there aren't dogs."