It's about wellbeing

Dogs and cats are companion animals which play a vital role in promoting the wellbeing of we humans. Countless studies have shown that young and old alike benefit physically and mentally by having companion animals as part of the family.

That is why I was very pleased to read of two decisions approved by our council that recognise that excluding dogs and cats from our society is a thoughtless and damaging approach if we see community health as a priority.

The decision to not ban dogs from the oval near the velodrome recognised that by keeping this option open, some residents who are perhaps unable to drive or walk to other locations will still get their exercise in a safe environment ('Velodrome declared a dog-free zone', Express, November 28).

Similarly, the proposed Eco Village could have included a ban on cats, but by restricting cats to indoors or properly constructed cat 'runs' enables the residents, many of whom live alone, to benefit from the companionship of a cat ('Eco village gets green light', Express, November 28).

Like it or not, companion animals have become family members and any organisation that has a blanket ban is in my view 'family-unfriendly'. When the Wesley Hill Market made this mistake I know of many people who simply did not go there anymore because they felt that their four-legged family member was being needlessly excluded.