Blog from a DRF Member
It seems that barely a week goes by without a dog attack being reported by the press – so who is really to blame?
Without a doubt some of it has to be shouldered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for not grasping the nature or extent of the problem but calling for them to “do something” is dangerous. The last time they acted in haste we ended up with the most inept piece of legislation ever in the form of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 which resulted in making banned breeds more popular than ever as well as causing the death of hundreds of innocent family pets simply for looking “type”. Do we really want the Government to make more additions and amendments to something that has never and will never work?
The sad fact is that there are too many dogs being bred, there are too many dogs going to unsuitable homes – some destined to continue the cycle of backyard breeding and others to people who simply have no intention of keeping the dog for life. There are also those who aren’t prepared to put in the time and effort needed to train their dog and even those who don’t actually realise that dogs don’t come ready trained – the “I wish my dog would do that” brigade who often just need a bit of guidance from the dog owning community.
Instead of playing around with the DDA and making things worse how about turning our attention to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999? Take the focus away from the dogs and put it back on the people involved. Dogs do not ask to be born, dogs do not ask to be used as breeding machines, dogs do not ask to be made “dangerous” – these are all the actions of people.
Commenting on a recent tragedy Jack Straw MP said “What will it take to convince people not to keep dogs like this….” Perhaps he should have said “people like this shouldn’t be allowed to keep dogs….”