Scope for improvement
As the changes to the sentencing guidelines have come into effect Dogs Trust commends the tougher revisions, but would welcome radical changes to existing legislation that better protect the public and welfare of dogs. Whilst the new guidelines will encourage courts to focus on the key factors of culpability, the charity hopes they will act as a salient reminder to dog owners of their responsibility.
Says Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust Chief Executive:
“This is a small step in the right direction. But, with such momentum behind these changes we need to capitalise on this and use the energy invested by animal welfare organisations such as Dogs Trust to campaign for even more work to be done. Whilst we would like to see a complete overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the introduction of dog control notices and extending the law to private property could be hugely beneficial and another step in the right direction.
Once again, Dogs Trust urges the government to introduce compulsory microchipping which will help improve the traceability of irresponsible dog owners, making them and not the dogs accountable.”
Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity in the UK and cares for over 16,000 dogs each year through its network of 18 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin. The Charity is continuing to campaign for stiffer legislation to protect responsible dog owners and supports the ‘deed not breed’ messaging.