A council in the North of England has banned residents from walking with their dogs in the town centre during the Christmas Period. An emergency by-law was passed in an extraordinary but acrimonious council session.
A spokesman for the council said that it has been decided that the dogs might be frightened by the flashing lights on the Christmas decorations and try to bolt with their owners in tow thus causing potential injury or harm to themselves or others. The source said "This is potential Health and Safety hazard and as such we have taken preventative measures."
Shoppers when questioned about the decision were not impressed with the council's action. "I think it's ridiculous" said Mr Yates, 51 "I've got decorations in my house and the dog thinks nothing of it."
"I'm blind and I've got a guide dog" said Mrs Hawthornberry, 43 "How am I supposed to do my Xmas shopping now?"
When asked about guide dogs the council official said that a special license could be obtained if applied for in advance for disabled persons at the cost of £40.
Dog owners found in the shopping precinct with their pets after the 1st of December until the 31st can be given an on the spot fine of £60 by specially appointed Dog Wardens who will be patrolling the streets for offenders.
When asked about whether stray dogs will be fined for breaking the regulations the official declined to comment.
Dog owners are having a meeting to decide whether or not to hold a mass protest.