Source: Vancouver Island News (Extract)
Posted: April 11, 2022

The federal government is imposing a five-month dog ban on a popular beach near Tofino, B.C.

Parks Canada says the ban is intended to protect migrating shorebirds during a critical time in their migration cycle.

The ban applies to the Combers Beach area of Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Dogs will be banned from the beach from April 14 to Oct. 1. On all other areas of Long Beach, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

“Migratory shorebirds depend on the national park reserve as a place to rest and forage for food during long trips between the Arctic and areas as far south as South America,” said Parks Canada in a statement.

“When migratory birds are disturbed, the extra time and energy spent fleeing can affect their survival. The presence of dogs can also contribute to the habituation of wildlife such as wolves who frequent beaches to access coastal food sources.”

FINES UP TO $25,000

Parks Canada says the ban is being introduced on a trial basis to study its effects on the birds and other wildlife, calling the measure a “last resort” to protect wildlife.

Parks staff and law enforcement will be patrolling the area to enforce the seasonal prohibition.

Tickets for off-leash dogs start at $58 for a first offence, while repeat offenders can face fines up to $25,000, according to the federal parks service.

The Combers Beach ban includes all dogs on the Combers Beach rail and the boardwalk access to the beach from the Green Point Campground.