Council threat to seize man's dogs

By James HoreA DOG owner who has fought a 10-year battle with a council about the noise his animals make has been warned his pets could be seized.David Budd has been served with a summons to appear at Colchester Magistrates' Court to answer allegations he failed to keep his greyhounds quiet on four occasions.

By James Hore

A DOG owner who has fought a 10-year battle with a council about the noise his animals make has been warned his pets could be seized.

David Budd has been served with a summons to appear at Colchester Magistrates' Court to answer allegations he failed to keep his greyhounds quiet on four occasions.

Mr Budd, of North Lane, Marks Tey, did not attend the preliminary court hearing because he said he had only been given two days' notice.

The case was adjourned, but Colchester Borough Council has now threatened to remove his six dogs until the court resolves the matter.

A letter from the council's environmental protection service manager stated legal advice had been taken.

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It added: "A warrant could be requested from a magistrate to permit the council to enter your premises and remove your dogs until such time as the court determined the matter."

Mr Budd, 45, claimed he had made every effort to ensure the issue was resolved and added: "I just don't know what I can do, nobody has ever told me they are still barking.

"If they were to take them away, I would be devastated. My little boy is upset because he thinks it is his fault because when he runs up the garden, they bark at him.

"How can I rectify the problem when I am not told there is an issue - all I am trying to do is keep to an out-of-court agreement. I feel it is unfair and unreasonable for them to hold me responsible for this."

Mr Budd moved five of nine puppies to a farm in Thetford in August last year after he was told there had been complaints about the noise they made.

He did not hear anything again until he was issued with the court summons this month for breaking a noise abatement notice agreed in 2001 to bring an end a bitter dispute that had raged from 1994.

The letter from the council to Mr Budd said: "In the past, this council has been criticised for allowing this issue to be repeatedly delayed and for residents to continue to suffer from noise nuisance produced by your dogs."

It acknowledged the action was an avenue that no-one wanted to go down, but warned: "If the noise nuisance continues, we may feel we are left with no choice."

No-one was available from Colchester Borough Council last night to comment.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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