RSPCA Cymru has given a big paws-up to Cardiff Council, as they announce they will now not pursue a blanket ban on dog walking on marked sports pitches in the capital city.

The announcement came from Councillor Peter Bradbury, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, at a Joint Environmental & Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee last night (19 November).

RSPCA Cymru was one of a number of agencies giving views on dog control plans in Cardiff at the session. This followed a successful campaign from the charity, and others, to urge the local authority to reconsider moves to exclude dogs from the city’s marked sports pitches.

A campaign group, Cardiff Dog Action, gathered almost 17,000 signatures against the previous proposals.

The animal welfare charity will now seek to work closely with Cardiff Council to develop new proposals which encourage responsible pet and non-pet owners to live and socialise together harmoniously on Cardiff’s green spaces.

RSPCA Cymru public affairs manager Paul Smith said: “It was fantastic to hear Cllr Bradbury confirm that a blanket ban on dog walking on marked sports pitches will not now be pursued.

“This is the culmination of a campaign from a number of agencies – including the RSPCA; plus dog walkers, and pet lovers, across the capital city, who made their feelings passionately clear.

“We were very concerned by some previous proposals, which would 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. This could have had worrying welfare consequences for dogs – by limiting walking spots; and creating negative perceptions of dog walkers, and their animals.

“Moving forward, we will now look to continue working closely with Cardiff Council, to ensure any new Public Spaces Protection Order delivers integrated communities, with responsible pet and non-pet owners living harmoniously without undue restrictions.”

RSPCA Cymru works closely with Cardiff Council – and the local authority won recognition via the charity’s Community Animal Welfare Footprints scheme this year.

Mr Smith added: “The RSPCA is proud to work closely with Cardiff Council, whose animal welfare credentials have been recognised via our Companion Animal Welfare Footprints scheme, for their stray dog work, and contingency planning. We now urge them to use their powers to deliver plans that give responsible dog owners adequate opportunities to walk their dogs all year round, right across the city.”

If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.