The Royal Parks has welcomed the conviction of a dog owner who allowed his dog to chase deer in Richmond Park.
The owner, who was convicted at Lavender Hill Magistrate's Court on 30 May 2012, had allowed his dog to chase deer on 15 April at Barn Wood and when police arrived on the scene, tried to disassociate himself from his dog. He received a six month conditional discharge.
Richmond Park is a historic deer park and a National Nature Reserve home to 630 Red and Fallow Year. Dogs chasing deer causes great distress and often leads to physical attacks on the deer.
To protect the deer and for the safety of members of the public and their dogs, The Royal Parks has signs that clearly indicate dogs must be kept under control at all times to minimise the chance that they worry or approach deer that may react to defend their young.
Richmond Park - a 2,500 acre Site of Special Scientific interest - 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 wild deer and who ensure that their dogs are 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 Boulton said:
"Ignoring the signs in specifically protected areas is dangerous. 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 and we will always consider prosecution as a means of dealing with this."
About Richmond Park and The Royal Parks
Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Richmond Park, the largest of the capital's eight Royal Parks and the biggest enclosed space in London. The Park is a National Nature Reserve, London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation. It is home to the beautiful Isabella Plantation, Pembroke Lodge and herds of Red and Fallow deer.
This summer Richmond Park will play a role in the London 2012 Games with the Olympic road race cycling route passing through the Park.
The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Royal Parks also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens and the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street.
For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk.
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