Petition calls for dogs to run off-lead

Peter O’Donnell said the off-leash reserve was an important part of the community, allowing people to socialise and exercise their dogs properly.

A 240-signature petition has been organised to that effect.

But Stirling Parks and Reserves manager Ian Hunter said dogs were the only animals to not have a control measure in place, something the City had sought to address.

He said the City rescued about 20 quendas each year, the majority of which had to be put down.

‘While most dog owners are responsible, once a dog is off the leash, the owners cannot be certain their dog is not harming small and larger native animals beneath and behind the thick foliage off the dedicated tracks in Star Swamp,’ he said.

Mr O’Donnell said although he understood the need to protect native wildlife, he thought the council was unfairly targeting dogs rather than foxes and domestic cats.

‘They recognise that there are feral cats in the place but everything’s been bundled on to the poor old dog,’ he said.

‘I’m there at least once or twice a day with the dogs and I’ve never had a problem, never seen a bandicoot in the area.

‘I particularly love the bush down there. You meet nice people there and dogs meet other dogs and they socialise.’