DEFRA has published the responses to its dangerous dogs consultation, revealing the majority of local authorities, charities and veterinary organisations do not believe current legislation protects the public.

DEFRA has published the responses to its dangerous dogs consultation, revealing the majority of local authorities, charities and veterinary organisations do not believe current legislation protects the public.
 
Veterinary organisations do not believe current dangerous dog  legislation protects the public.The consultation document was launched by the Labour government in March and ran for 12 weeks, canvassing more than 4,200 individual opinions from groups including BVA, BSAVA, PDSA, Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
 
Key findings, revealed today (November 25) include:

  • 88% of respondents do not believe that current breed-specific legislation is effective at protecting the public from dangerous dogs
.
  • 71% believe that breed-specific legislation, outlawing certain breeds of dog, should be repealed .
  • 84% are in favour of compulsory microchipping.
  • 68% of those consulted believe control notices would be an effective way to tackle animals that are out of control.

 
Lord Henley, DEFRA’s animal welfare minister, said he was committed to addressing irresponsible and bad owners who “need to be held to account and stopped from ruining people’s lives”, and that he was working with Home Office ministers on the anti-social behaviour dimension of keeping dangerous dogs.
 
Lord HenleyHe said proposals for dealing with dangerous dogs would be announced in the new year. In addition, the Government is also planning a project to look at the motivations, and social norms around keeping status dogs.
 
BVA and BSAVA issued a joint response to the consultation earlier this year.
 
Commenting on the strong consultation responses, BVA president Harvey Locke said maintaining the status quo regarding dangerous dogs was “not an option”.
 
He said: “There is enormous support amongst experts in dog health and welfare for an end to the failed breed-specific legislation.
 
“The coalition government’s programme promised to take action on dangerous dogs and ministers must now take on board the strong views from this consultation to implement changes.”

 

Top image ©iStockphoto.com/Zudy-box
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