An online petition has quickly earned support, and been followed up by Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham.
Senator Farnham asked his 3,300 followers on Twitter whether the current rules should be suspended for as long as Jersey’s lockbdown measures remained in place.
The minister received around 130 responses to his straw-poll, with the approximate tallies being 75 in favour, 35 against, plus a small number giving qualified answers such as ‘only if owners take extra care to pick up the dog’s mess’.
Existing legislation requires dogs to be kept on the lead on any beach between the hours of 10.30am and 6pm from 1 May to 30 September, with no restrictions for the period from 1 October to 30 April.
The online petition was launched last Thursday and by yesterday was well beyond the 1,000-signature threshold that commits ministers to issue an official response.
Petitioner Alison Christie-Upton stated that maintaining social distancing on beaches could be difficult in the event of high tides which would leave reduced space for exercising dogs prior to the 10.30am cut-off.
Lockdown measures were officially introduced on 30 March and are currently scheduled to last until at least the end of April, with an update expected from government over the next week about whether the instruction for Islanders to stay at home will be extended into May.