Public consultation meetings will begin this weekend on new dog regulations being proposed in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
The CVRD’s dog regulation bylaw has not been reviewed since 2007 and requires modernizing to keep up with emergent dog-related issues in the electoral areas.
Robert Blackmore, the CVRD’s manager of inspection and enforcement, said an important element being considered in a new bylaw is the issue of public safety and the need to address aggressive dogs by placing the focus on the dog owner to control and prevent incidents.
He said that, currently, the bylaw’s rules for dogs involved in aggressive incidents are vague.
“We’re looking at creating a two-tiered system, in which dogs involved in aggressive incidents would be determined to be either aggressive or dangerous, with the dangerous designation being the more severe,” Blackmore said.
“Some of the restrictions applied to these dogs would be the same for both designations, including having to be leashed and muzzled in public, but those labelled dangerous would also have to be spayed or neutered. We’re hoping for a lot of people to come out to the public consultation meetings to give us their ideas.”
Blackmore said regulations for kennels, breeders and dog rescues will also be considered.
He said staff have reviewed a number of dog regulation bylaws to determine best practices in relation to animal control bylaws, including in Calgary, Vancouver and New Westminster.
The BCSPCA are also closely involved in the process.
The public consultations that begin this weekend throughout the district are intended to provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the potential amendments to the dog bylaw.
The first will be held on May 13 at Duncan Farmer’s Market, beginning at 9 a.m., while a second meeting will be held on May 15 at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, beginning at 6 p.m.
A third meeting will be held at the CVRD’s Duncan headquarters on May 16, beginning at noon, followed by another meeting at the North Oyster Community Centre at 10 a.m., and the last meeting will be held on May 18 at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre at 5 p.m.
A description of the topics and a summary of key elements being considered for inclusion in the Dog Regulation Bylaw are available at www.placespeak.com or www.cvrd.bc.ca/dogs.
Comments can be submitted on PlaceSpeak, by email or at the open houses.