MPs hit out at ‘misguided’ strategy to curb dangerous dog attacks
2 min read
MPs have hit out at a "misguided" strategy aimed at curbing dangerous dog attacks.
Hundreds of dogs are being put down each year despite posing no risk to the public because of a “cruel and illogical” set of laws, according to a new report.
Under current rules, dogs belonging to banned breeds are banned from being rehomed and are destroyed even if they are found to be good-tempered.
But the latest report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee found the rules had failed to stem a 81% rise in hospital admission for dog attacks since 2005 with an “unacceptably high” level of life-changing injuries as a result.
Committee chair Neil Parish hit out at the Government, urging them to launch an independent review into the rules to establish whether banned breeds pose a greater threat than other dogs.
"Existing laws and the breed ban have not stemmed the rising tide of injuries and deaths from dog attacks,” he said.
"Children and adults are suffering horrific injuries, many of them avoidable… Some aspects of the law are utterly indefensible. In particular, the ban of transferring Section 1 dogs to new owners is cruel, illogical and unnecessary."
MPs called for ministers to instead support an alternative approach with a focus placed on prevention through education and awareness courses, early interventions and tough sanctions against owners of dangerous dogs.
Mr Parish added: “All dogs can be dangerous, and we can’t ban all dogs that might one day bite someone.
“Evidence from across the world shows that the Government should focus instead on encouraging responsible ownership, improving education and ensuring offenders face robust penalties.”
But a spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said they had no plans to amend the current law.
They added: “Prohibiting breeds of dogs that are bred for fighting is critical to tackling the heightened risk they pose.
“However, any dog can become dangerous if it is kept by irresponsible owners in the wrong environment, which is why the act covers any type of dogs that is dangerously out of control.”
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