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Dangerous Dogs Act is just a start to ending breeds being misused

PUBLISHED: 12:57 15 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:42 05 October 2010

WE WELCOME the recognition that change to the Dangerous Dogs Act is long overdue. We have witnessed first hand as an animal welfare charity the horrifying consequences from the misuse of certain breeds

Dear Ed,

WE WELCOME the recognition that change to the Dangerous Dogs Act is long overdue ('Government must tackle dangerous dogs' Deputy Mayor urges, Advertiser Website, March 15).

We have witnessed first hand as an animal welfare charity in London the horrifying consequences from the misuse of certain breeds.

But the dog welfare issues are not just as a result of "dangerous dogs." They are down to indiscriminate breeding, easy accessibility to and widespread irresponsible ownership of dogs across society as a whole.

We need to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour with dogs. The Dangerous Dogs Act is a start.

However, it can only be part of a wider overhaul of dog welfare, which should have as its basis 'prevention' rather than draconian measures afterwards.

The Mayhew charity believes effective legislation must place greater onus on the owners, not the dogs themselves. Legislation must address the issue of where these dogs are coming from in the first place and why they are so misused and abused, otherwise nothing will change.

We advocate a repeal of 'breed specific' legislation, making micro-chipping compulsory as part of a registration package for responsible dog ownership which should include neutering, vaccination, regular checks, pet insurance and an owner assessment test.

We also call for tighter regulations on the trade in pets, for local authority Animal Welfare officers to prevent escalation of this crisis and for the Government to fund neutering programmes.

Caroline Yates

Mayhew Animal Home

Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green


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