Blue Cross has today (Monday 16 July) united with other dog organisations to reject calls for a ban on Staffordshire bull terriers.

After a petition to government asking that the breed is not added to the list of dog types banned under section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 received over 155,000 signatures, the issue will be debated at Westminster today. Watch live from 4.30pm here.

Breed-specific legislation – which makes it illegal to own, breed, sell and rehome four types of dog in the UK – is currently the subject of an ongoing select committee inquiry. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) committee has been hearing from experts – including Blue Cross - as it reviews the effectiveness of the ban.

Blue Cross, along with Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club and RSPCA, is united in its view that staffies should not be added to the existing list of banned breed types. We are campaigning for a repeal of breed-specific legislation, which bans dogs on looks alone, and calling instead for an effective law that focuses on the other end of the lead.

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross, said: “Staffies can and do make excellent family pets. Sadly, the breed is much maligned and calls to ban these dogs based on absolutely no evidence that they are any more dangerous than any other breed of dog are unnecessary and would lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent pets, and heartbreak for their owners.”

Evidence shows that legislation which focusses on breed has been ineffective at reducing hospital admissions for dog bites. Blue Cross has serious welfare concerns regarding dogs that are found to be of banned type as they pass through the court system, and the law currently leads to the deaths of animals based not on genetics, family tree or behaviour, but rather solely on their looks.

Sign our petition to repeal breed-specific legislation and instead focus on education and cracking down on people who use dogs for illegal and irresponsible purposes.