As the UK starts to get used to a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government, the country could be forgiven for quickly forgetting the short, sharp burst of activity surrounding the Dangerous Dogs Act in the final days of the Labour regime. A quick refresher: The then Home Sec, Alan Johnson, announced there would be a public consultation in to the issue of dangerous dogs or ‘status’ dogs as they have been alarmingly dubbed. But today, just a matter of hours in to the new term of this, we are told, ‘progressive’ alliance, we learn something so astonishingly shocking about the mindset of those tasked with dealing with the dangerous dogs issue, it really is worthy of wider examination. The Metropolitan Police have been urged to simply kill ALL of the dogs it has seized.[note]Note: When I initially published this, it was the early hours of the morning. For those people who’ve been asking what can you do (thank you!), please add your voice using the comments section below as it acts as a digital archive of people’s feelings (one that can not be simply deleted or manipulated). But also, please write and express your heartfelt feelings to the newly appointed Home Sec, Theresa May: http://www.tmay.co.uk/contact – these dogs need people to speak up for them at this critical time.[/note]
Long – and possibly recent – term readers to this site will know that the dangerous dogs topic is one of the most widely covered here.
We have long since covered the various debating points and, often hair-brained, proposals as to how we can responsibly and effectively implement laws that don’t attempt to define a dog as ‘dangerous’ based purely on how and what it happens to look like.
The following is from the BBC:
Scotland Yard has been urged to destroy thousands of dangerous dogs rather than paying more than £10m to care for them.
The Metropolitan Police (Met) plans to outsource kennelling and care of dangerous dogs, which could cost up to £10m over four years.
Lord Harris, former Metropolitan Police Authority chairman, asked: “Why don’t we just put them down?”
A record 1,146 dogs, including pit-bull terriers, were seized in London in 2009. Police currently have 451 dogs.
Each dog can cost the force up to £9,000, while owners fight lengthy court cases trying to prevent destruction.
Lord Harris said the public would be shocked by the cost.
“We seem to be spending an enormous sum of money on keeping weapons for other people. Why do we keep on doing that?” he asked.
The number of dogs held by the police often surges after high profile incidents, such as when children are attacked.
Police said they could complete the paperwork needed to destroy a dog within 72 hours, but court cases can take years to conclude.
Supt Julia Pendry, who is responsible for the Met’s status dogs unit, said the force must operate within the law.
“It would be absolutely fantastic if we could destroy these dogs,” she said.
“Unfortunately it is a criminal offence because the property belongs to other people.
“Secondly, the RSPCA would probably prosecute me, and people like Defra and the national press would have a field day if we started killing dogs that were people’s pets,” she added.
As we have pointed out many times via these pages, the UK tax-payer is currently footing a VERY large bill for the implementation of this failed law.
Has it just dawned on the power’s that be the fact that if we have a law that compels Police to seize dogs that happen to LOOK a certain way, then the costs associated with such idiocy would be massive and they’d be picked up by the tax payer?
It was the Conservatives who brought this law in to force in 1991 and Labour failed to remove it.
In the past 5 years, 6 people have been killed by dog attack.
Breed specific legislation has had absolutely zero impact on reducing the number of deaths or dog attacks – since its inception it is widely acknowledged that the Pit bull type dog is now more desirable and carries a ‘premium’ price PURELY because it is contraband.
If Britain is to be genuinely committed to a reformist, progressive path – may we suggest the idea of wholesale killing of dogs would go some considerable distance to blowing that image clean out of the water.
When China hosted the Olympics, world-wide media levelled considerable criticism at the authorities who ’rounded up’ the stray street dogs and ‘dispensed’ of them in killing chambers.
Just a couple of days in to the UK’s ‘new dawn’ and we have this obscene suggestion that a mass cull of dogs – who are being held BECAUSE they have not been PROVEN to either be of ‘type’ or to have ever acted dangerously. Quick work.
Please, if you are compassionate dog lover – BE outraged. This is every bit worthy of your anger and emotion.
We must rid the UK of breed specific legislation, if not for the clear and obvious animal welfare reasons but quite simply because it does not work, has never worked and is costing us a fortune. If you live in the UK, YOU are paying for these dogs to be held up, often in shocking conditions (MANY dogs die in police care – the numbers are astonishing).
Nobody wants dangerous dogs on the streets. But the solution is to tackle dangerous owners, not dogs that simply happen to look a certain way and fulfil a definition of ‘type’. This is a system that has reached tipping point and we have a clear fork in the road…
we can either:
Seize and seize as many dogs as we have been doing and PAY for keeping them locked up, PAY for them to go through a ludicrous court process where ‘experts’ will argue as to whether their fur is thick enough to be a ‘type’ or if their chest is broad enough, experts with tape measures, experts opposing the experts with tape measures – all the while not even bringing in to consideration whether they dog ACTUALLY DID anything dangerous
Seize and seize and arbitrarily kill as many by virtue of the death rate that unfolds with seized dogs in Police ‘care’ or dispense with the charade all together and just put a needle in them as soon as they are seized.
When you think about folks, it really is ONE way or the other.
End BSL now!