Dog Walker Convicted After Dogs Chase Waterfowl

The Royal Parks welcomes conviction for chasing waterfowl


Sunset over Pen Ponds © Andrew Wilson

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The Royal Parks has welcomed the conviction of a dog owner who allowed five dogs to chase water fowl, in Richmond Park.

The owner, who was convicted at Wimbledon Magistrate’s Court on 30 August 2012, had allowed his dogs to chase waterfowl as they ran in and out of the water’s edge at Pen Ponds, on 01 May. This breaks park regulations clearly displayed on signs in this area, which state that dogs must be kept on a lead here. He received a £315 fine.

Richmond Park is a 2,500 acre National Nature Reserve and dogs chasing waterfowl causes great distress and often leads to dogs attacking the waterfowl, although fortunately none were injured on this occasion.

To protect the waterfowl, The Royal Parks displays signs that clearly indicate dogs must be kept on a lead at Pen Ponds so that they cannot worry or chase the waterfowl.

Richmond Park is a popular location for walking and dog walking. The majority of dog walkers are responsible owners who understand that the park is home to waterfowl, deer and other wildlife, and are aware that their dogs should be kept under control.

Simon Richards, Richmond Park Manager, said:
“We welcome this conviction which reinforces that the breach of Royal Parks Regulations is a serious matter. The Park Regulations are in place to protect the land, wildlife and the enjoyment of more than 2 million visitors a year. It is a delicate balance which The Royal Parks manages very carefully.”

Police Sergeant Michael Boulton, Metropolitan Police Safer Parks Team, said:
“Breaking regulations in specifically protected areas is dangerous. For this reason it is important to observe warning signs. This conviction makes clear to visitors who may not be familiar with the park that a breach of Park Regulations is a criminal offence, endangering wildlife and public safety.

“Each year we see several incidents of irresponsible dog ownership. This latest conviction demonstrates our commitment to dealing with this unnecessary problem.”

September 20, 2012