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11 Oct 2018

RSPCA urges rethink over possible sports pitch dog ban
BY Andy Knaggs

Cardiff Council has proposed to ban dogs from marked sports pitches

Cardiff Council has proposed to ban dogs from marked sports pitches
photo: Shutterstock

Cardiff Council’s consultation on proposals to ban dogs from marked sports pitches has drawn concern from the RSPCA and from local dog walkers.

The proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) intends to keep parks and public spaces cleaner by clamping down on dog fouling. The council says it receives “a significant number” of complaints about dog fouling and out of control dogs in public places every year, adding that while the majority of dog owners were responsible, “there is a minority who cause significant problems”.

Should the proposals go through, dogs would only be able to use the fields concerned outside of the relevant playing season. Currently, dog owners can be charged £80 for not cleaning up dog faeces left in public places; the PSPO, if approved, would levy a £100 fine on dog walkers who let their animals wander onto marked pitches (whether they have fouled the area or not); this could be increased to £1,000 if not paid.

RSPCA Cymru has responded to the proposed order by pointing out the risk of “demonising” responsible owners and their pets, and called for the council to “strive towards integrated communities” with pet owners and non-pet owners “living harmoniously without undue restrictions”.

The RSPCA's public affairs manager in Wales, Paul Smith, said: “We’re proud to work closely with Cardiff Council, and urge them not to forbid dogs from marked sports playing pitches within Cardiff, particularly where adequate space for exercise may not be available nearby.”




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