July 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Families have hailed the decision to lift a three-year ban on dogs at the Suffolk Show, with many saying they would have stayed at home otherwise.
The move to ban pets from the 2011 show was greeted with outcry from dog owners, with honorary show director Bill Baker explaining, following a review of the policy, that families were their “biggest audience”.
Gemma Cox, 36, of Bury St Edmunds, said her family would not have come to the show if they could not bring one-year-old whippet cross bedlington terrier Freddie.
“I did not really understand why they did it in the first place,” she said.
“Dogs are part of the family and we should be allowed to bring them. It is an agriculture show and it is nice to see them with all the other animals.”
Daniel Clayton brought his four-year old Chihuahua cross Jack Russell to the show.
“It was not a very good decision to ban them,” the 38-year-old said.
“The Suffolk Show is a good place to bring dogs and enjoy a nice day out with the family. It is the ideal setting, so it is good news they allowed them back this year.”
Hannah Osborne, 16, said she would have been forced to stay at home to care for her dog Harley.
“He cannot stay at home by himself for long so I would have stayed with him,” she said.
However, Peter and Wendy Marson, of Cambridge, hit out at the decision to ban dogs from the Food Hall. Only guide dogs are allowed.
“We are being discriminated against. It is ridiculous,” Mr Marson said. “They are not causing any harm. We paid £25 and should be allowed to take them everywhere here.”
Speaking before the show, Mr Baker said: “When we made the decision not to allow dogs three years ago it was for genuine reasons.
“But we always said we would review the situation, which we have.
“Dog owners have expressed their disappointment at being unable to attend because dogs are not welcome. Now they need not stay away. The decision to welcome dogs back to the show will involve improving facilities for them; for example more watering points, pooper bins and perhaps even looking at further areas of shade. In this way, hopefully it will be more comfortable for everyone.”