Brake Galvanises Government to Address Dangerous Dogs Issue

April 3, 2012 12:43 PM

Local MP Tom Brake is calling for the Government to introduce new measures to solve the problems that dangerous dogs bring to modern day Britain. The last five years has seen a huge influx in the number of maulings in Britain; in London alone, the number has soared by 79 per cent and by 43 per cent nationally, following a new inner-city craze for 'status dogs', trained to intimidate and fight. In 10 months last year, 456 people were taken to London hospitals, and the Metropolitan Police is currently spending £2 million a year kenneling dogs who pose a threat to society.

The Metropolitan Police found that since their specialised Status Dogs Unit was set up in March 2009, around 80% of the dogs they have seized are pit bull terriers, but many are well socialised dogs owned by ordinary people not involved in any anti-social behaviour. They are content to apply to the courts to have these dogs exempted so that they can be 'legalised'. The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) has therefore questioned whether there is any evidence to support the contention that banning certain types of dog has been effective in reducing attacks.

Tom commented on this issue, "We need to move away from breed-specific legislation towards a system, like the one used in Germany, where the police have the power to seize and hold on to any dog which is a danger to people and other pets - even if it's not on the current specific list of rare, dangerous breeds. There is also growing evidence of cross-breeding as criminals attempt to get round the current Act.

"It is clear that something must be done to curb violence by dangerous dogs and the culture of abusive treatment to the animal which exacerbates the violence. We in the Liberal Democrats are doing our best to introduce the right laws that will serve the community and challenge these harmful acts."

For more information on the work that APGAW does, visit their website: http://www.apgaw.org/.

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