Saturday, 20 September 2008

Dissenting View and (not) endangered species

I received a very interesting response in regards to the previous post. I am always grateful to people who take the time to write their dissenting view, and even more so when they do it politely and with facts.

First, I must clarify that our assembly at Long Reef Beach in May 2007 said nothing about that area becoming a dog-friendly beach. It was about the requirement of council to provide equitable access to resources for all their residents. The beach is a resource and 40% of Warringah residents have dogs.

Secondly, as I researched the dissenting view offered to, I found errors of fact. Had it been based in fact, it would most certainly been something that we would have to consider and accommodate. HOWEVER, I am willing to be shown that I am in error, and that's why Barking Mad, as a professional lobby association, welcomes those with a dissenting view. Our only requirement is that you can argue your point without arguing people out of a room! But please come to us with research and facts - it will help us create a safe and pet-friendly community that both pet owners/lovers and pet haters can cope with.

While we agree that you and your dog have rights, the endangered species of birds in the wildlife refuge at one end of the beach and the marine sanctuary at the other are incompatible with the rights of you and your dog.

Please be aware that birds will not nest anywhere, or will abandon existing nests, that they can detect dogs have been near. They are endangered, your dog is not.

The marine reserve is home to endangered little penguins who are also very sensitive to the presence of dogs. Already there have been attacks by dogs whose owners are sure that their dog would not do something like this. The doggy ban is there for a reason. C.C,

HERE IS MY RESPONSE AFTER RESEARCHING 'endangered little penguins'.
In my quest for facts, I have researched your assertion that “marine reserve is home to endangered little penguins” and have found it to have no basis in fact. If you can show me otherwise, I would appreciate it.

There are NO
endangered or critically endangered penguins in Australia. There are three species that are vulnerable, which does not include the little fairy. There is one colony of penguins that are an endangered population, and that is at Manly.
Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion, but I must say au contraire and ask for your qualifications. I have an environmental science background.

The doggie ban is for a reason and it’s revenue raising. Shorebird nesting areas are not related to this specific ban. Knowing your shorebirds and their nesting cycle AND their threats may lead you to a more informed response. The constitution, our federation and the High Court are there for reasons too. Think Aboriginal citizenship, Mabo, maybe even suffragists.
Barking Mad supports legislation that protects shorebird nesting areas.

Of course, dogs off leash are a threat to little penguins – but NOT during the day. Also, these are seasonal, albeit a long season, and have must greater risks than dogs.

The other reason for dog bans is that it is much EASIER to get the dog owner than the parent whose youth drinks underage, drives like an idiot, swears constantly in public, likes to graffiti things etc. How many offenses are related to litter – and we all see a LOT more non-poo litter like drink bottles and cigarette butts. How about enforcing the alcohol free zones?

Endangered? We humans are the most endangered with the senseless way we interfere instead of integrate with our surroundings. Think cars and all they have done to our world, think import/export, shipping, mining. Sorry, my dog is down on the list and she is also a 24 x 7 health care worker – maybe even to your parent at a home that you visit once a week. She visits twice a week at least, and provides respite to the under-payed aged care workers as well. The benefits rein.

And just to clarify, my dog does not have rights as she is chattel. People have rights. A lot of animal welfare people want non-human animals to have rights – there is an argument for and against it, of course.