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Laws banning dogs from parks 'causing hardship'

Wednesday October 26th 2016

Laws targeting anti-social behaviour in public spaces, used to bar dogs from parks, are having serious consequences for owners and causing hardship and distress, a new report claims.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) have been used to ban dogs from around 2,200 public spaces in England and Wales, according to Kennel Club estimates. Pets must be kept on a lead in a further 1,100 public areas.

Breaching these orders can result in criminal prosecution or a fine.

However, the Kennel Club argues that many of these blanket bans applied to parks and playing fields are causing significant hardship and distress to dog owners, with those who need assistance dogs among the most severely impacted.

In the new report Out of Order, launched at Parliament this week, the club has outlined a number of recommendations, including exemptions for people who rely on assistance dogs.

"Some local authorities seem to be waging a war on dogs and their owners and singling them out from the rest of the population with no real reason for doing so," said, Caroline Klisko, Kennel Club secretary.

"The UK has long been known as a nation of dog lovers and we would not want to see this undermined through unnecessary restrictions that cause dog owners to feel that going about their daily lives could result in a fine or unfair penalisation."

Copyright Press Association 2016