Lords back new Dog Control Bill

Published: Monday 31st October 11

The House of Lords has given its full backing to an overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which promises to better tackle irresponsible dog owners.

Wandsworth Council, a leading member of the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG), has been championing the proposed new legislation, which would see the introduction of Dog Control Notices that apply to all types of dog that have acted dangerously without provocation and hurt another protected animal or person.

The Dog Control Bill will also place greater responsibility on owners by making dog attacks on private property a criminal offence as well as those in public.

Mark Callis, Wandsworth Dog Control Service Manager and DDASG chairman, said: "In Wandsworth we know that the aggressive, problematic dogs are always the ones which have been treated badly, neglected, or, in some of the worst cases, deliberately trained to intimidate others.

"This Bill will give us the powers we need to tackle the root cause of the country's dangerous dog issues - bad owners."

Councillor Jonathan Cook, Wandsworth's environment and community safety spokesman, added: "This is an important step forward for improved legislation that will reassure residents by helping crack down on irresponsible dog owners."

Under parliamentary process, Lord Redesdale's Bill will now be debated in the House of Commons - bringing it one step closer to becoming an Act of Parliament.

Lord Redesdale said: "By introducing preventative measures, such as dog control orders, problem behaviour can be addressed before more serious incidents take place.

"This will go a long way towards protecting the public and ensuring responsible dog ownership for the benefit of all."

DDASG represents animal welfare groups, local authorities and veterinary professional organisations which include Wandsworth Council, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, The Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, Mayhew Animal Home, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Wood Green Animal Shelters.

In support of the Bill, which went through the House of Lords on October 26, DDASG launched a petition which has now received over 10,000 signatures. It can be found at www.gopetition.com/petitions/repeal-and-replace-the-dangerous-dogs-act.html.

For more information on DDASG, Lord Redesdale's Dog Control Bill and current legislation visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/928.

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