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Blue Cross urges government to act on dangerous dog report

Blue Cross is encouraged by a report released today (17 October 2018) which calls for an independent review of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and further research into whether banning breeds is an effective method for protecting the public and preventing dog attacks. 

After hearing evidence from Blue Cross among other animal welfare charities and experts, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee has published a report which supports our charity’s view that the current policy is not fit for purpose and ‘changing the law on breed specific legislation is desirable, achievable and would better protect the public’.

Blue Cross is also pleased to see the committee has taken note of the concerns around the rehoming of Section 1 dogs, recommending that the legislation be changed to allow animal welfare organisations to rehome loving and well-behaved dogs who have been assessed by behaviour experts and who could make someone a fantastic pet. This would help to reduce the number of dogs like Duncan, pictured, who are needlessly sentenced to death based on looks alone.

Steve Goody, Deputy Chief Executive at Blue Cross, said: “Efra’s report is a positive step in the right direction. The Efra report recommendations if adopted by government could save the lives of hundreds of innocent dogs a year.

“As an organisation, Blue Cross believes that the current Dangerous Dogs Act unfairly targets breed types solely based on the way they look. We know that each year, many Section 1 dogs are seized unnecessarily and can spend months stuck in kennels awaiting court decisions which can negatively impact their welfare. 

“As a charity that finds new homes for pets, we are particularly encouraged to see that Efra has recommended that wherever possible Section 1 dogs that pass rigorous behavioural assessments should be found new homes rather than being put to sleep unnecessarily.

“We just hope that government take the recommendations on board so we can have effective legislation that reduces the number of dog attacks, encourages responsible dog ownership and improves dog welfare.

“Blue Cross wants to see an end to legislation that singles out dogs based on looks alone and the focus switched to prevention. We will continue to campaign on this issue to ensure dogs like Duncan are given the chance to lead a healthy life in a happy home.”