Dog walkers are set to be banned from parts of Bull Island and Dollymount Strand in north Dublin in a bid to protect wildlife.
The move follows what the council describes as “futile” efforts to encourage owners to obey the rules of the protected nature reserve.
The council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have “endeavoured to implement control measures over a number of years” by engaging park rangers and dog wardens to enforce the rules of the nature reserve.
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However, in a report presented to councillors officials said “this has proven futile” and has created “an unhealthy work environment for staff engaged in enforcement”.
Along the dunes dogs must be kept on a lead, while one section of the beach will permit off leash – but only outside bathing season (June 1 to September 15).
The council stated: “The single most important issue in relation to the disturbance of wildlife… is the impact of dogs off-leash and access to sensitive habitats.”
The northern end of the island, used by seals for breeding and resting, is most vulnerable along with the shingle beach, also at the northern end, where bird species ringed plover and terns breed and curlews feed.
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