Town halls 'waging war on dogs' over park bans

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Dog walking has been banned or cut back in thousands of parks and open spaces in the past two years, it is claimed.

Public Space Protection Orders, aimed at stopping threatening or violent behaviour, allows councils to ban various activities in certain areas.

Kennel Club estimates, based on figures from its own contacts with councils, show dogs have been banned from at least 2,205 public places in England and Wales, The Daily Telegraph said.

Some parks, playing fields and beaches are among the places which have been put out of bounds and dogs have also been stopped from running or playing off a lead in 1,100 others places, it was claimed.

Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, told The Daily Telegraph: "Some local authorities seem to be waging a war on dogs and their owners."

An RSPCA spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: "Dogs enjoy interacting and playing with other people and animals, and it is important that they are able to express normal behaviour off the lead.

"We realise the value of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) for local authorities to ensure that sections of open space, like children's play areas and sports fields, may be dog-free.

"However, where dogs are excluded or open spaces are restricted, it is essential that local authorities make sure other open spaces are available close-by.

"We hope local authorities issue PSPOs cautiously and do not use them as a blanket power that punishes the responsible majority in an effort to tackle problems created by an irresponsible few."