(BVA Release) New laws to tackle dangerous dogs are welcome but the Government must look at preventing incidents rather than dealing with them afterwards, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
The Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill, published today, will extend dangerous dogs legislation to make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, including private property.
The BVA has long campaigned, alongside the major dog welfare charities and enforcers, for these changes which recognise that responsible owners must keep their dogs under control in all situations.
The Bill will also explicitly cover attacks on assistance dogs but the BVA is reiterating its call for the protection of assistance dogs to be extended to all protected animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, and others.
Ultimately, the BVA wants to see a complete overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act which has failed to protect the public.
Veterinary surgeons and all of the major organisations working with dogs agree that a more preventive approach is needed and the BVA is repeating its call for Dog Control Notices to be introduced, similar to those used in Scotland and those being considered in Wales.
Current proposals made by the Home Office under anti-social behaviour legislation are inadequate.
Commenting, Peter Jones, President of the British Veterinary Association, said:
“The Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill is a welcome move that will ensure owners take responsibility for their dogs’ behaviour in all situations. Too many postal workers, nurses, social workers, and family members have been injured on private property with no protection under the law.
“But despite these proposed changes, the law will still be focused on dealing with incidents after they have occurred rather than attempting to prevent them. The BVA strongly supports the introduction of more preventive measures, such as Dog Control Notices, to identify problem behaviour before it becomes serious.”