Dogs Trust Calls For Action on Dangerous Dogs
Dogs Trust, the UKâ€™s largest dog welfare charity, condemns the breeding of dogs for fighting and supports measures to bring the full force of the law against the breeders of such dogs. Dog attacks occur as a result of a dog's training, upbringing and environment. All dog owners should be encouraged to be responsible owners, regardless of the breed of dog.
Dogs Trust is calling for an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act to reflect the 'deed not breed' of a dog; to adequately deal with aggressive or dangerous dogs based on the actions of a dog rather than its breed. This could be implemented by introducing a more effective 'ASBO'-type control system to allow for suitably stringent controls on owners of dogs that display unwarranted aggression, whatever the breed of dog.
The DDA should also be amended to allow for controls to be imposed, and adequate punishments where controls have been unheeded, wherever an attack or warning of attack happens, whether in a public or private place. Such controls would include keeping the dog under control (including use of lead and/or muzzle where necessary), training, rehabilitation of the dog, and keeping dogs in a way that discourages any inappropriate aggression.
A 'Dangerous Dogs Amnesty'
Dogs Trust is very concerned that an amnesty is being proposed that will lead to the killing of many innocent dogs. Dogs Trust does not believe that an amnesty will achieve the desired result of eliminating aggressive or dangerous dogs, nor would it ensure the prevention of dog attacks on people.
An amnesty, with various conditions laid down by individual local authorities, may help encourage some owners to take more responsibility for their dog, but we are also concerned that it might in fact drive the encouragement of aggression in these dogs further underground.
Sadly the possession of an aggressive dog, no matter what the breed, is seen to be macho by some in society, and the abhorrent illegal practice of training dogs for fighting continues. An amnesty will do nothing to prevent this, but instead might lead to the unnecessary death of many beloved family pets simply based on their breed, regardless of their behaviour.
The 'type known as a pit bull terrier' is not a recognised breed and it is therefore difficult to positively
identify a dog as prohibited. Consequently there are many Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross-breeds that have long legs and might therefore be classified as a pit bull type. Many of these are beloved family pets with no tendency to aggression and therefore no danger to the public.
Dogs Trust suggests that, where the dog is a family pet and shows no tendency to aggression, the owner should be allowed to have their dog entered on the Index created under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. They should also be required to comply with the other requirements under the Act (neutering, microchipping, insurance, muzzling).
At PetClub UK, we believe wholeheartedly with the thoughts of the Dogs Trust, and we would like to urge you all to visit the Dogs Trust web site to see the many ways in which you can help.
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