UK dangerous dogs legislation fails to protect the public while harming animal welfare

My APBC clinical animal behaviourist colleague and erstwhile university lecturer David Ryan gave oral evidence in June to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, as part of their inquiry into Dangerous Dogs: Breed Specific legislation. The report is published today and calls for a full-scale review of current dog control legislation and policy to better protect the public, recognising also the effect on dog welfare.
The report recommended better education about responsible dog ownership and staying safe around dogs, and crucially it highlighted the need to ensure that better education is not undermined by bad practices in private industry. The committee said the Government should investigate the impact of poor dog training practices, and it should consider *stricter regulations to ensure all trainers are properly accredited according to a standardised framework.*
The Committee recommended removal of the ban on transferring banned breeds to new owners. This ban was declared misguided, resulting as it did in the unnecessary destruction of good-tempered dogs that could have been safely re-homed.
The Committee also proposed an independent review into the factors behind dog aggression and attacks, and whether banned breeds pose an inherently greater threat. The robustness of the Government’s evidence base on Breed Specific Legislation was challenged, citing evidence that some legal breeds can pose just as great a risk to public safety as illegal breeds.
Any new dog control model should include early intervention and consistently robust sanctions, including mandatory dog awareness courses for owners involved in low to mid-level offences.
You can read the full report on David’s website:

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