Cardiff Council has been urged by the RSPCA not to exclude dogs from marked sports pitches within the local authority area.

The council is currently consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order for the area, including proposed new controls around dogs.

RSPCA Cymru fears banning dogs from marked sports pitches – as proposed – could risk demonising responsible owners and their pets.

The animal welfare charity has called on the Council to strive towards “integrated communities, with responsible pet and non-pet owners living harmoniously without undue restrictions”.

RSPCA Cymru is “proud” to work proactively with Cardiff Council, and the local authority has won a number of awards in recent years from the charity via its recently-rebranded Pawprints awards scheme.

Public affairs manager for RSPCA Cymru, Paul Smith said: “It is so important that Councils use their powers to deliver integrated communities, with responsible pet and non-pet owners living harmoniously without undue restrictions.

“We are troubled by any moves from Cardiff Council to – via a Public Spaces Protection Order – ban dogs from marked sports pitches within Wales’ capital city.

“It’s our understanding that the council is also considering the potential of implementing these restrictions only when marked sports pitches are in-use; or for such restrictions to be seasonal. Ultimately, though, responsible dog owners need to walk their dogs all year round – and we’ll keep working with the Council to ensure this is a reality in Cardiff.

“The RSPCA remains concerned that PSPOs may be used to inadvertently create a negative view of dog ownership within local communities by implementing unnecessary restrictions on bans on walked dogs within areas like marked sports pitches.

“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.”

RSPCA Cymru works extensively, and in partnership, with local government in the interests of animal welfare. Further consultation response and submissions can be found on the PoliticalAnimal.wales website.