The Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market is considering banning all live animals for the 2010 season.
“We have had a large number of complaints about the behavior of some dogs at the market and we did have a few serious problems last year, so we are responding by having a conversation about the presence of animals at market.
— Tom Buller, market coordinator
The market is seeking input from the community before it makes a decision.
To submit comments:
• Call 331-4445
• E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Fill out a survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/HVSHCFX.
Market vendors will be discussing the issue at a meeting on Tuesday.
“We understand this is an important decision for many Lawrence residents and we would like community feedback.”
— Tom Buller
In an e-mail, Buller went over policies here and elsewhere:
“The presence of animals, especially dogs, are a large issue for farmers’ markets nationwide. In many markets people enjoy taking their pets but others have banned all live animals, except for service animals. The confluence of large numbers of people and pets in tight areas can certainly create problems.”
Dogs, in particular, cause problems, he said, ranging from mild incidents, such as blocking traffic, to extreme cases, such as biting.
In some places, like the City Market in Kansas City, Mo., the state or local health code prohibits animals.
In Kansas, the Department of Health and Environment does not prohibit animals. The animals must keep a distance from the areas for food preparation, but there is not a clear-cut ban.
Local dog policy
Several incidents last year led the Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market board of directors to pass a dog policy that let customers know what was expected in terms of dog behavior. The policy consists of six points:
- Dogs must be kept on a nonexpandable lead.
- Keep your dog under control and by your side at all times.
- Keep dogs away from produce, plants and other food products. This means head and tail ends.
- Your dog must be sociable to people and other dogs to be at the market.
- Not everyone is a dog lover. Be considerate.
- Come prepared to clean up after your dog.
Buller said some community members feel that this policy does not go far enough and have asked the market to consider a total ban on pets at market.