It's 2012, a full 21 years since the introduction of the knee jerk legislation known as The Dangerous Dogs Act.
Widely derided, globally panned, the Act has singularly failed to do any of the things it set out to do, namely, reduce dog attacks or eradicate certain 'types' of dogs.
Any sane person realises that, even if it was possible to wipe out a 'type' of dog (it isn't possible by the way), as a plan of action it's a ridiculously flawed approach.
Further, the banning of breeds has lead to genuine misery for so many owners of well behaved, friendly dogs and has cost the tax payer millions to enforce.
So, given what we now know, I ask, would any government introduce the act today?
I'd like to think not. I'd like to think there would be enough opposition from the stakeholders who, in 1990, helped to get the DDA introduced in the first place and who now line up to deride it. I'd like to think the public outcry would be enough to prevent us being lumbered with a horrible law that doesn't achieve anything it sets out to achieve.
On that basis, I have to ask, once again, why is it still here?
Successive Governments have acknowledged the failings of the Act. Successive Governments have kept it in place.
Why do we still have it? I can only draw one conclusion, the political elite who have the power to make changes are, when it comes down to it, cowards who would rather wash their hands of the blood of innocent dogs who've been killed in the name of this awful legislation than stand up and do what needs to be done. Full reform. End breed specific legislation. Give us a law that actually works.