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New government dog measures step in right direction but lacks bite

06 Feb 2013

Blue Cross has welcomed the government’s decision to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs and an extension of laws to ensure owners of dogs who attack on private property can be prosecuted but more still needs to be done to tackle irresponsible dog ownership and prevent attacks from happening in the first place. 

In response to this morning’s decision, we will be offering free microchipping to dogs and cats at our hospitals and rehoming centres. 

However, databases would need to work together, with registrations kept up to date by owners, and there is still need for further regulation to help stop dog attacks.

Kim Hamilton, Blue Cross chief executive, says: “The government’s decision to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs promises to make a lasting impression on animal welfare. 

“Blue Cross has campaigned long and hard for microchipping and will be offering free chips to all pets.

“But these changes alone will be little comfort for the victims of dog attacks.”

While the changes announced will also allow owners of dogs who attack on private property to be prosecuted, such action will still be too little, too late. 

Blue Cross has been calling for the introduction of preventative measures for potentially dangerous dogs, which would allow the authorities to step in after signs of antisocial behaviour but before an attack has taken place.

Kim continued: “An early preventative strategy would educate dog owners, helping to improve their pets’ behaviour and knowledge of their responsibilities. 

“Blue Cross believes that dog ownership can be a good thing - regardless of the breed - when people are properly informed and supported.

“Without tackling this problem the reputation of some dog owners, and the breeds of dogs they choose to own, will continue to suffer.”

Blue Cross education programme encourages young people to be responsible dog owners and runs RespectaBull workshops that focus on all aspects of owning a bull breed dog.

Want to know more about microchipping? Check out our guide.