Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Todays news has had lots of coverage of dangerous dogs. The last time politicians tried to tackle this subject was the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, which banned 4 specific breeds of dog including pitbull terriers. Now, after a string of high profile attacks, they are back in the news. The 1991 act was for want of a better phrase a dogs breakfast. It failed to understand the root of the problem, which is rarely the dog itself but the owner. Obviously, if the dog is a large dog bred to hunt or fight, it is much more dangerous than a small dog. But take a big dog and give it an owner that abuses it, or trains it to attack or intimidate, and you have a deadly weapon at large. One option floated today was the Dogbo, an order to control owners. That in itself is not the answer, but at least recognises where the heart of the problem lies. Other suggestions like compulsory insurance and microchips are also being mentioned. This time round, there needs to be much better consideration of the facts available, and not a knee jerk reaction that grabs headlines, but does nothing to protect the public. Dangerous dogs need to be dealt with, but much more so dangerous owners.

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