New laws to tackle dangerous dogs have been welcomed by veterinary associations and canine charities, but the BVA says the Government must look at preventing incidents rather than dealing with them afterwards.
New laws to tackle dangerous dogs have been welcomed by veterinary associations and canine charities, but the British Veterinary Association (BVA) says the Government must look at preventing incidents rather than dealing with them afterwards.
The Draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill, published on April 9, 2013 extends dangerous dogs legislation to make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, including the home.
According to the Kennel Club (KC), this draft bill is a positive step in curbing irresponsible dog ownership and encouraging better control of dogs, which in turn should prevent more serious incidents from occurring.
Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “The Government’s draft bill will further cement the principle that it is not acceptable for an owner to allow their dog to behave aggressively either out in a public place or in the home, towards lawful visitors. Postal workers and health visitors for example, regularly visit private properties without necessarily being known to the dog or landowner, and should be able to do so safely.
“We hear of many cases of neighbours having reported incidents on private property involving dogs that subsequently go on to cause serious injury. The extension of the law to cover all places will fill in this legal loophole and allow action to be taken in these cases.”
The BVA also welcomed the amendments, but believes current proposals made by the Home Office under anti-social behaviour legislation are inadequate. In fact, the association still wants to see a complete overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which it says has failed to protect the public.
BVA president Peter Jones said: “Despite these proposed changes, the law will still be focused on dealing with incidents after they have occurred rather than attempting to prevent them. The BVA strongly supports the introduction of more preventive measures, such as Dog Control Notices, to identify problem behaviour before it becomes serious.”