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Blaenau Gwent Dog Owners Urged To Have Their Say On Proposed Restrictions

05 April 2016    11:00

The UK's largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, is urging dog owners in Blaenau Gwent to have their say on proposals which could restrict where people can walk their dogs in the area.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council is seeking the views of the public in a dog access consultation it is running to determine the need for Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), which replaced Dog Control Orders, under the Anti-social, Crime and Policing Act 2014. PSPOs can exclude anyone with dogs from certain areas, require that dogs are kept on leads at all times in certain areas, and limit the number of dogs a person can walk at one time.  The council is also seeking views on dog fouling in the area.

The Kennel Club's campaign group, KC Dog, is alerting its members and local dog owners to the consultation to ensure that the outcome is as fair as possible for all parties.

Specific restrictions the council is consulting on include bans on dog walking on sporting and recreational facilities, and a number of restrictions on where dogs can be walked off lead. The Kennel Club believes that total bans for dogs on public open spaces must be necessary and proportionate and should only be used as a very last resort, as open spaces can be ideal for dogs to be exercised off lead, which is important for canine health and wellbeing.

Furthermore, the Kennel Club holds the view that any ban on dogs from public spaces should be based on evidence and only implemented if there is a genuine need, such as to safeguard certain wildlife that can be affected by dogs, or to protect the wellbeing of both people and dogs.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "This is the perfect opportunity for dog owners in Blaenau Gwent to have their say on the proposals so that the Borough Council can make informed and fair decisions that will be best for all those who enjoy the local area.

"Some aspects of PSPOs, such as the requirement to pick up after a dog, are very sensible measures to help promote responsible dog ownership. However, other aspects such as a ban on off-lead dog walking may not be welcomed by the many responsible dog owners in the area whose pets enjoy local public spaces without any issue. 

"Dogs need a good deal of exercise, including off lead, so we would not want to see restrictions that have a negative effect on the amount of exercise responsible owners can give their pets."

For further details on the consultation, including a list of areas that would be affected and to respond, visit this webpage. The consultation closes on 11 April 2016.

KC Dog is a dog owner campaign group, free to join, which keeps members updated on dog access issues, and other relevant Kennel Club campaigns, which may affect dog owners across the country. Visit this webpage for more information and to join.


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