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Dogs in Misty Cliffs

We have a very cordial community and so rather than inviting antagonism by taking-up dog issues with their owners we obtained from the Area Manager (South) of the Table Mountain National Park the rules and regulations governing control of dogs.

The roles and responsibilities of three authorities on the Peninsula are founded in law. The authorities are as follows: Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), South Peninsula Administration of the City of Cape Town (SPA) and CapeNature (formerly Western Cape Nature Conservation Board).

Code of conduct for dog walking in the Table Mountain National Park

  1. Dogs must be under VOICE or other signal control at all times
  2. Dog handlers must always carry a leash.
  3. Dogs must be leashed :-
    1. if the handler is unable to control the dog or if it is vicious or otherwise dangerous
    2. while passing through any demarcated area
    3. at the start of a walk, through car parks and at access points.
    4. while passing through a picnic and/or braai sites
    5. when the handler sees indigenous wild life
    6. on reasonable request by other Park users
    7. upon instruction from a Park Official
  4. Dog Handlers must be aware that not everyone is familiar with dogs. They must have control of their dogs at all times and not allow them to interfere with the pleasure of others using the Park.
  5. When meeting a leashed dog, the handler of the unleashed dog should provide space for both dogs to pass without incident.
  6. Unleashed dogs must be discouraged from running up to leashed dogs. Vicious dogs must be muzzled, on request from a Park official.
  7. Give right of way to people unaccompanied by dogs.
  8. Dog handlers must be responsible for removing their dog's faeces from paths, car parks and any other areas used by pedestrians. Faeces should preferably be removed or deposited in bins, where provided.
  9. Bitches in heat may not be walked in the Park.
  10. Dog handlers must ensure that their dogs do not chase or injure wildlife.
  11. Park notices must be complied with.
  12. No more than two dogs per person may be taken into the Park except by special permission from TMNP.
  13. Dog handlers are to remain on Park-approved paths and tracks at all times. No new paths may be created and no shortcuts are to be taken.

As far as the SPCA is concerned, Inspector Kira Joshua (SPCA - 021-700-4140/1 or enquiries@spca-ct.co.za) has confirmed that any dog found wandering in public and brought in to the SPCA will not be released to its owner until the SPCA or SPA Law Enforcement have checked that the owner's property is fully enclosed.

It is quite clear that responsible dog ownership is a requirement throughout the municipal and nature areas (those in which dogs are permitted) on the Peninsula. Dog ownership confers special responsibilities in ecologically sensitive areas, so we request that the Misty Cliffs community please act in a responsible manner and ensure that dogs are confined to their owners' properties and that when dogs are taken for a walk they are kept under the immediate control of their handler. Although the law is clear on this matter we are sure that, as like-minded conservationists, the Misty Cliffs community and its dog owners will embrace this request in the spirit in which it is intended - that is, our shared concern for the well-being of the environment.