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Compulsory microchipping of dogs is not enough

Compulsory microchipping of dogs is not enough

Blue Cross | Blue Cross

3 min read Partner content

The Blue Cross explains "microchipping alone will not help to protect the public from dog attacks".

The Blue Cross has welcomed cross-party calls to introduce compulsory microchipping for all dogs following yesterday's discussion in the House of Lords but has urged the government that more still needs to be done to tackle irresponible dog ownership..

In response to Lord Taylor's strong indication that compulsory microchipping could soon be introduced, the leading animal charity said the measures would be a big step forward in promoting animal welfare and responsible dog ownership but stressed it would have to be properly enforced, funded and supported by effective legislation to deal with dangerous dogs.

The Blue Cross warned that much more needs to be done, including an overhaul of the current dangerous dogs legislation which has been failing the public for more than 20 years.

In the light of two tragic deaths from dog attacks this week, the charity says it is clear that piecemeal reform is not enough and that the government must introduce a new dog control Bill .

Rachel Cunningham, public affairs manager at The Blue Cross, said: "We welcome the government's suggestion that compulsory microchipping will be part of a new approach to dangerous dogs. But microchipping alone will not help to protect the public from dog attacks or tackle the wider problems of irresponsible ownership.

"The Dangerous Dogs Act was rushed through, and the government now has a chance to correct the failings of the current legislation. But it is essential that they respond to public calls for a comprehensive new law, rather than introducing half-measures."

The latest dog attacks – one which involved a suspected banned breed and the other involving a German shepherd dog, which is not illegal under the act – shows that banning certain breeds simply because of the way they look is not working to protect the public.

The Blue Cross, along with other major animal welfare organisations, has long maintained that no dog is born dangerous and that with the right training from a young age, any pet can be a loving companion. Responsibility for a dangerous dog must lie with the owner.

The charity would like the government to introduce preventative measures, which would allow the authorities to step in with a range of measures after signs of antisocial behaviour but before a serious attack has taken place. Measures could include ordering dogs to be muzzled in public, kept on leads or attending training classes.

Rachel added: "The major problem with the current law is that it does not allow the authorities to take action until a serious attack has already happened. We would like to see effective new measures introduced which would place the responsibility for the dog's behaviour back where it belongs – with the owner."

The Blue Cross, which relies entirely on public donations, promotes responsible pet ownership and campaigns for better animal welfare. To find out more about the charity or to make a donation, visit www.bluecross.org.uk

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