Dogs have been banned from part of a nature reserve near Deventer, due to worries about the threat they cause to vulnerable wildlife.
The Keizersrande lower floodplains are now shut permanently to dogs and people because the IJssellandschap foundation believes that free-ranging dogs are too much of a risk to birds and other animals.
A spokeswoman told Dutch News that the area in question is a small one and that there would have been no issue if dog owners had kept to the rules and had their pets on a lead.
“This concerns a very small area which was always mostly closed off,” a spokesperson told Dutch News. “But if people had followed the rules and always kept their dog on a leash, there would have been no issue.”
The area in question, along the IJssel and grassland near the De Stobbenweerd farm, is already closed every year during the wildlife breeding season from March 15 to July 15. But now part of the area is being closed permanently, and another area is being marked as a recreation zone instead.
Not only have dogs formed a threat to other animals but their faeces can contain parasites that may affect cattle that graze in the area, increasing the chance of miscarriage, the foundation warned.
In the past, local media have reported that dogs have attacked geese and other animals. Last year Gerben Visser, from the IJssellandschap foundation, which owns the land, called the situation “disastrous”.
The area is part of a Natura 2000 EU-protected nature zone.
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