Dog law delays are unacceptable claim RSPCA
Public pressure is key to lobbying Government department
The continued persecution of dogs based on their physical appearance is unacceptable and the law needs to change, the RSPCA says.
Britain’s biggest animal welfare charity claims the Government is dragging its heels over promises to reform dog control legislation – despite nearly nine out of 10 people arguing that the current law doesn’t protect the public effectively.*
Two public consultations on dangerous dogs have been carried out since March 2010, as well as an inquiry into dog health and welfare by the Select Committee for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. However, there have been no changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act since 1997.
The RSPCA has urged the public to take action by writing to their MP to ensure Defra is not allowed to sweep the subject under the carpet, after outgoing animal welfare minister Lord Taylor yesterday promised legislation would be introduced that includes compulsory microchipping and extends to cover private, as well as public, land.
It follows a feature on BBC’s The One Show on Monday in which the RSPCA’s Government Relations Manager, Claire Robinson, highlighted the failures of current legislation.
She said: “The RSPCA is no stranger to campaigns raising the injustice of the Dangerous Dogs Act – a law which acts as judge, jury and, all too often, executioner of dogs that are guilty of nothing more than matching a list of physical measurements.
“More than 70% of people who responded to Defra’s consultation in 2010 said they believe breed specific legislation should be repealed, while a massive 88% said they don’t think the current law is working.
“Yet here we are, more than two years down the line and nothing has changed, while thousands of dogs are still being abandoned and abused by irresponsible owners each year.
“If members of the public show enough strength of feeling by contacting their MPs, there is still a chance that people power could see a change in the law for the better. It could not only help protect the general population, but improve animal welfare as well.”
Members of the public can contact their MP via a form on the RSPCA website to call for meaningful action on this important issue.
The form is available at http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/companion/dogownership/action
* 88% of respondents to Defra’s public consultation on dangerous dog legislation in March 2010 did not believe that current legislation is effective in protecting the public.