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Dangerous Dogs Legislation: What Would YOU Do?

Jack Russell with one ear up413017

Welsh Environment Minister, John Griffiths has announced that he wants to pursue new legislation that will help to control dangerous dogs.

Speaking at a plenary debate about dangerous dogs led by Labour AM Julie Morgan, the Environment Minister said:

“We are working to manage and control the problem of dangerous dogs focussing particularly on what can be done using new legislation.

“Whilst the aim of new legislation would be to prevent injury to people and protect children, it would also incorporate the principles of our Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.

“Any dog can be dangerous, and dog training, socialisation and the responsibilities of dog owners all play a key part in ensuing that dogs do not pose a danger. In developing any new proposals, these issues must be borne in mind.”

The Minister said that new legislation might encompass measures for owners or keepers of dogs who have failed to keep their dogs under control.

It might also include extending requirements for keeping dogs under control within private premises and ensuring all animals are treated appropriately whatever their breed .

The Welsh Government will be meeting with interested groups and parties over the next nine months to take forward this work and will be considering the introduction of a Welsh bill as soon as is practically possible.

A Welsh Government consultation is already underway on plans that will help Wales to deal with unscrupulous dog breeders and ensure better welfare standards in puppy farms across Wales.

The Environment Minister has also previously spoken of his plans to introduce legislation that would require all dogs in Wales to be micro chipped. This is intended to promote responsible pet ownership, ensure pet owner accountability and help to improve the welfare of dogs across Wales.

The Welsh Government will consult on plans for compulsory microchipping in 2012.

Since Kenneth Baker introduced the widely derided, short-sighted Dangerous Dogs Act in 1991, animal welfare campaigners have called for an end to legislation that seeks to ban individual dog breeds. As we now find ourselves in another period of dangerous dog discussions in relation to new legislation, we want to know what YOU would do if you were given the authority to introduce fair and effective legislation designed to reduce irresponsible dog ownership?

Have your say using the comments section below…

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. jan moore

    February 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    If I were in power, I would abolish Breed Specific as there is nothing more pathetic than to judge a dog by a tape measure ! Why would a Government not consult dog experts before deciding on a new law ? Panic was the reason for this ‘knee jerk’ act coming into force. No dog is born dangerous yet any dog can be dangerous, in the wrong hands. Kenneth Baker probably knows nothing about dogs temperaments, and probably didnt bother speaking to an animal behaviourist. I am hoping that the legislation from Lord Redesdale gets some Government backing and passes the next stages through the Commons. Please sign the above petition as the MPs are aware of it.
    Compulsory Microchipping would help our stray dog (and cats) situation and neutering should always be considered. Breeding should only be available through specific breeders, but pitbull ‘type’ dogs should not be on any prohibited list nor should the other three breeds. However, correct ownership and training for all dogs should be considered.

  2. jan moore

    February 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/34617.html

    sorry forgot to include my petition, thank you

  3. Nikita

    February 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    If I could do it, I’d start from scratch and get rid of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 because it does not work!
    First of all, there is no such thing as a dangerous breed of dog so I’d ensure that any new legislation did not victimise any breeds.
    I’d bring in new legislation that would mean that all dog owners have to get a licence to purchase and own a dog, and to get this licence they would have to prove that they are willing and able to look after the dog properly.
    The dogs would all have to be microchipped.
    ‘Dangerous’ dogs would be classed as dogs of any breed that are aggressive in public or are not being controlled properly. The new legislation would also be extended to protect people on private properties who get attacked and injured by out of control or aggressive on private land.

    There’s probably a lot more that could and should be done but mainly, the DDA would be gone!

  4. Jacqui

    February 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    @Nikita – Whilst I agree with you on the dangerous breed victimisation, I don’t think that the licensing would work, it was tried before and fell by the wayside but more to the point, who would decide what proof would need to be shown to show that a person can be a responsible dog owner. How does one prove that?

    I do agree with you on all dogs being microchipped but @Jan, who would decide who these breeders were? seems a bit unfair to be honest. I do not agree with indiscriminate breeding but neither do I agree with breeding dogs for looks rather than health.

    I thought that both Nikita and Jan, raised some excellent points but think that the main problem is that the people/govt that has introduced the current laws on dogs does not have a clue and needs to get more input from people who do.

    I do not think there are bad dogs, only irresponsible owners and it is the owners who need to be punished more so than the dogs.

  5. leanne terry

    February 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    i am very disturbed by the dangerous dogs act, breed specific law is a disgrace putting down healthy innocent family dogs just because of something they may never do and as you can tell it has done no good as bad owners continue with another breed and i think it should read,dangerous peoples act and the owners of the dogs should be prosecuted for letting there dogs get out of control and stop the innocent animals suffer at the hands of man…..

  6. Clare sergeant

    February 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    i would like to see the ban removed and all dogs neutered so people were unable to backyard breed. In my experience it’s not dangerous dogs, but very dangerous, out of control people. It needs to be made law to licence your dog AND get it neutered.

  7. Jacqui

    February 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    P.S. I singed the petition and shared it.

  8. sharon marie wormald

    February 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Dogs should be judged on deed not breed.All dogs should be mircochipped before leaving the breeder to both the new owner and the breeder so the breeder is responsible for that dog for life.Also bring back the yearly dog licience.This could be done through vets so dogs can be scanned to make sure their chip hasnt migrated and update any details.All dogs should be registered to a vet.To help this any dog should be allowed to be be scanned by wardens/community safety officers/police to check they are chipped.So many dogs are stolen and lost,it should also be made compulsory that vets scan all new dogs AND check to see if dog is on lost register,some scan but only to check for a chip.As for the dangerous dogs act,young pups being put to sleep because of their measurements and have no owner to fight their corner,dogs being killed who have done absolutely nothing wrong,it’s barbaric,old fashioned,narrow minded to say that because of a dogs breed it must be killed.I have been round dogs for years and have only ever been bited by a Jack Russell.I totally agree owners must be responsible for their dogs,back yard breeding needs to be stopped completly and any breeders should be registered with the kennels club.Anyone who has more than one litter of dogs should be registered as a breeder and have any income made from the sale of dogs taxed and if on benifits, benefits agency informed of extra income.We need to stop what is happening in this country,go to any council pound….fullof dogs waiting to see if they will live or be killed after just 7 days (this is also not a long enough time period for people to claim back lost dogs,someone went on holiday for a fortnight,dog escaped and when they came back dog had been killed by holding pound…….So……alot needs to be done..it can be done as most people can see things are so wrong at the moment…END BSL make PEOPLE responsible

  9. steven

    February 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    i think micro chipping is a start and licencing is a must so is education i would make every body who wants a dog to go on a course before purchasing a dog that way they have more knowledge and understanding about the dog just like you would if you wanted to own and drive a car and no dog is born bad only brought up that way due to their owners its time to make irresponsible owners responsible for their acts because a lot of the problem is the dog is blamed for their owners actions when it should be the other way round and the goverment need to talk to dog behavourists and not just make laws on what they read or see in papers or media its illeagal in this country to be racist but with the dda is that not the same in the dogs eyes we need to address this problem positively and you will see responsible dog owners welcome these changes

  10. Maren

    February 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    This is definitely a step in the right direction but I would take it further. No matter what the breed I think every dog owner should require a licence and the test should be similar to those rehoming centres use to assess potential new homes for rescued dogs. Every owner, no matter how large or how small the dog is needs to know exactly what is involved in looking after a dog and needs to totally understand that it is a long term commitment, that there may be large vet bills and that pet insurance is a must or they need to check out local charities who will treat their dog free of charge. The licence number should have to be attached to the dog’s collar, so anyone can easily see it.

    Hopefully this would go a long way towards reducing the number of ‘status’ dogs trained to attack. Any owner caught without a licence and known to have trained their dog to be aggressive should receive a long prison sentence and a large fine. They are the ones who need to be punished, not the dogs

  11. Jacquie

    February 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I find it ironic that a welsh minister has commented on laws surrounding dealing with dogs since they turn a blind eye to all the puppy farms that exist there and do nothing to stop it!

    The DDA act needs to be completely overhauled with emphasis being placed more on responsible ownership and breed specific legislation should be scrapped and replaced with a deed not breed approach.

    There also needs to be more publicity to what pet ownership involves. I think compulsory microchipping is a good idea but dogs that are living with responsible owners have incorrect contact details on them as it is so I’m not sure how effective it would be in the long run.

    I suppose if Wales put something half decent in place it might get our government to pull their finger out and do something.

  12. Caitlin Stocker

    February 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I’m in full agreement with those who say DDA laws are ineffective at best, the authorities and the media clearly disregard the obvious: all dogs have teeth. It’s up to us to demand a logical policy of punishing ignorant, lazy, irresponsible, psychotic dog owners and breeders and stop the breed discrimination.

    At the end of the day, these authorities are civil servants and we have to remind them of that fact, we can also have to tell the media that we won’t stand for their sensationalistic bias. And soon.

  13. Genna Wilson

    February 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I have tried to basically raise this exact thing in England but got told I didn’t provide enough information to take it forward, I believe if every dog was micro chipped when it left the breeders it would deter people taking on puppies they can’t afford and have no intention of training to an basic level. I think to own any dog no matter what breed you should have to take and written and practical test to prove you have the knowledge and ability to give a dog the best start on life. This will not only reduce numbers of people and pets harmed by out of control dogs this will reduce the amount of dogs that are breed which will reduce the amount of unwanted dogs on rescues all over the UK

  14. Gwynneth

    February 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    This is what I think the government should try

    http://stubbydog.org/2011/10/calgary-sets-the-stage/

    The law as it stands does not work to stop the wrong people owning certain breeds of dog, it only seems to punish the people who’s dogs have never done anything wrong, mostly family pets from what I’ve seen! It should be Deed NOT breed. A pit type dog can include a huge range of cross breeds that aren’t on the DDA and responsible owners can’t even voluntarily register their dog until someone has made a complaint or the dog has been seized! Surely if the 4 banned breeds/types were made legal and anyone wanting to breed or own one and had to register themselves and their dogs then it’d be easier for the police and the powers that be to focus on dealing with unregistered dogs and irresponsible owners that shouldn’t own any dog let alone a so called status dog. The types of dogs targeted in the right hands make fantastic dogs especially with kids. There should be more education about how to approach a dog the right way and also how to read dogs body language, a lot of dogs give off signals before a bite that are ignored or missed by people that don’t know how to read a dog.

  15. Martha Save Lennox Rose

    February 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    It is the desire of ALL members in the group to take a stand and do our best to put an end to BSL and return Lennox back to his human family. It is a great idea to have many people, groups, pages, etc to fight this battle against BSL; yet if all people sites, groups, pages etc. could come together under a united front leaving their own pages, site, and groups in tact, it would make for a more powerful front. The name of the group is “HSL_ An Animals Perspective On BSL” and the link again is:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/HSLandBSL1/

  16. Nicolle Topping

    February 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Where is the justice in taking the dogs that have done no wrong? and the owners that put the effort and time into their dogs to make sure that they set the example for the breed. Then to have them taken off them all of a sudden because they are a banned breed. People like this that do care about the breed and look after them. Even then when they pass all the safety tests they still decide to put them to sleep. Dogs shouldnt be punished because of peoples actions. People that abandon these dogs and use them for fighting but yet the dogs are punished. Irresponsible owners need more punishment. End BSL, for the percentage of owners like myself that care about what happens to these dogs. People should be more educated on these dogs, Breeding should be stopped, every dog should be micro chipped and took to socialisation classes to be trained. Any dog can attack or turn not just pit bulls.

  17. jan moore

    February 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/34617.html

    @Jacquie, sorry if I didnt make myself clear, when i stated Specific breeders, I meant no backyard breeding, no puppy farms.
    I hope the Government can get thing right this time and someone with an ounce of intelligence would repeal the DDA and abolish breed specific. It doesnt work. No Government backing as yet but at least a new bill has come this far and has reached the Commons.

  18. Sarah

    April 2, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I would make it law all dog should be microchipped before going to new owner and spayed/neutered! all breeders should be licensed and a percentage of their income could go to national dog rescue centres in their area ie Dogs Trust, etc. also some breeders offer 6 weeks free insurance, would it not be better to offer the 6 weeks free puppy training class at your local dog training class! People could then get a certificate to prove they had undertaken it! Also bring back Dog licenses so people have to pay a 1 off fee to register their dogs with the county council! Then if a dog has a number and a compliant is made against it ie attacking another dog or biting a person the dog can be traced and the person cautioned and charged!
    Trouble with registering dogs with vets is an awful lot of people only get the puppies vaccinations done in the first year and then never go back for boosters, etc unless they have to ie if they want to put their dog in kennels a few years later when going on holiday! Also if you go on holiday even in this country and take your dog with you then you should have to show an uptodate vaccination record to prevent spread of diseases!

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