If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably had to endure the struggle of having to leave your precious pooch at home in order to enjoy a day at the beach.
To address this, the Office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare has conducted an extensive exercise in order to shed some light on the lack of dog-friendly beaches in Malta and Gozo.
The exercise also attempts to demystify some of the confusing information surrounding this issue while discussions are underway to see if more dog-friendly beaches can be founded.
“Discussions are still ongoing with the different entities and authorities involved to increase the number of dog-friendly beaches in Malta and Gozo,” the office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare said.
The lack of dog-friendly beaches can be attributed to water quality and bathing water profiles, the latest research has shown.
The Environmental Health Directorate and the Superintendence of Public Health together with suggestions made by the Animal Welfare Directorate are responsible for carrying out these decisions.
The tests are conducted through scientific research as well as WHO guidelines which show that bacteria from dog waste affects the quality of bathing water and as a result puts people’s health at risk.
The health risks concern any dog waste on sand which could be easily absorbed by the sand and people, especially children playing on the sand, who can easily come in contact with the waste.
In Malta, dogs aren’t allowed on any sandy beaches at any time of the year, with the exception of Imġiebaħ Bay.
The ban stretches across dogs being on the sand and in the water of any bay in Malta and Gozo.
They are however allowed on all rocky beaches, except for those which have been designated a Blue Flag listing. Blue Flag beaches are those which are considered the best-quality beaches.
With that being said, if the rocky beach has an official bathing area, then they are also not allowed there. Dogs are not allowed in these bathing zones, however, they can remain on the rocks. The owners are obliged to keep their dogs on a leash and to clean up after them.
There are seven dog-friendly beaches in Malta and two in Gozo. No official water quality testing takes place at these beaches.
Do you want to see more dog-friendly beaches in Malta and Gozo?