Qualicum Beach town council has banned dogs from its farmers’ market and will consider extending the ban to other events.
Council passed the motion unanimously after a dog fight at the July 4 farmers’ market involving a pit bull and possibly a golden labrador retriever.
Citing other reports of incidents at large community events, including witnessing a dog fight at the Fire and Ice festival, Coun. Neil Horner proposed the ban at a recent Committee of the Whole meeting.
At the end of the July 13 regular council meeting, council returned from an in-camera session to pass the ban.
Council discussed the large farmers’ market crowds, in the thousands, and the potential for more incidents involving dogs, including innocent situations like a kid or elderly person with mobility issues getting tangled in a leash.
Market president Lorne McCallum said that while he and his wife love their four large dogs, they wouldn’t bring them to the market and “I would probably prefer that the dogs weren’t there.”
He pointed to the various possible complications involving “food, children and elderly people,” including what might happen if someone inadvertently stepped on a large dog’s toe.
He said he’d broken up a dog fight himself and that many dog owners are “not walking their dog, their dog is walking them.”