Government urged to act as innocent dogs are destroyed25 Jan 2012
The Blue Cross is repeating its call for an urgent overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act after last night’s BBC documentary Death Row Dogs exposed the shocking failings of the law.
The programme is a wake-up call for the government to act now after film crews captured the shocking realities of terrified and neglected dogs kept in appalling conditions and sociable, healthy dogs being destroyed simply because they are a banned breed.
More than 20 years after it was first introduced, we are calling for the much-criticised legislation to be scrapped because of clear failures in its aims to protect the public and ensure animal welfare.
Steve Goody, director of external affairs at The Blue Cross, says: “This documentary brings to life what many of us in the animal welfare industry already know – innocent dogs are suffering due to the serious flaws of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
“As the film showed, police resources and taxpayers’ money are being diverted to seize, kennel and often destroy dogs who are guilty of nothing more than looking a certain way.”
Steve adds: “Any dog can be a safe and loving pet in the right hands, if socialised and trained properly from an early age. So-called ‘dangerous dogs’ are created by the irresponsible actions of their owners.”
As Death Row Dogs showed, the police’s hands are tied when they seize a banned breed, even if they have shown no signs of being dangerous.
If the dog is deemed safe and friendly but the previous owner’s home is unsuitable, the dog will be destroyed as police are banned from finding it a new home.
Steve says: “Viewers will have been shocked to see moving scenes of a friendly and sociable dog being put to sleep because he was a banned breed with an unsuitable owner and the law forbids him from finding a loving new home.
“This is a major flaw in the act and a serious animal welfare concern, and the sad reality is that it happens all the time.”
Find out more about the Dangerous Dogs Act and why it has failed.