A meeting of dangerous dogs experts, led by the UK's largest dog
welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, has laid the groundwork for
an agreed strategy for reducing dog bite incidents in the UK.
The meeting enabled experts from across the veterinary and medical
professions, the police, local authorities, government
representatives, academics, sociologists and animal welfare
charities, to share existing knowledge and information on dog bite
incidents in order to develop a plan to garner government support
and funding for a new nationwide strategy for dangerous, or out of
A proposal will now be developed which will incorporate the need
for a robust central database for the investigation of dog bite
incidents, which can be fed into by relevant parties including
vets, medics, the police and dog wardens. This will provide
crucial data on the causes of dog bites and will enable more
preventative measures to be implemented, such as required training
for any dog which shows early signs of aggression.
Also included in the proposed strategy will be the need to treat
dog aggression as a public health issue and the importance of
educating dog owners, the general public, children and educators on
responsible dog ownership and how to safely interact with
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Dog bites are
clearly a public health issue, and to ensure that both public
safety and dog welfare remain paramount we need to make changes to
this country's strategy on dogs which are allowed to be out of
control. It is absolutely crucial that we get it right to avoid a
further increase in dog bite incidents.
"We believe the key to this is through gathering data on incidents
as they happen through immediate and thorough investigation, so
that genuinely preventative measures can be put in place and the
law can be overhauled to reflect this.
"There are so many factors that need to be looked at when a dog
bites someone, including social, medical, cultural, psychological
and behavioural elements, and by gathering such data we can get far
better insight into the reasons for bites.
"A key part of a preventative strategy is education on how to
interact safely with dogs. The majority of recorded incidents
involve children in some way, so educating them from an early age
is crucial. There are initiatives and information resources
that exist already, such as the Kennel Club's Safe and Sound
programme and Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme, as well as the Pet
Education Resources group, but we would like to see a more unified
education programme to reduce dog bite incidents.
"We were overwhelmed by the turnout and the level of interest in
the roundtable discussion and are glad that all relevant
stakeholders are keen to move forward together on this important
issue. The meeting was very much the first step in pushing
for a new strategy on dangerous dogs and we are particularly
appreciative for the support of our speakers at the meeting, Kendal
Shepherd, Danielle Greenberg and Chris Mannion, who delivered
effective arguments for why we need urgent change."
More information on the Kennel Club's dangerous dogs campaign can
be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dangerousdogs.
The Kennel Club believes that dangerous dog law should be
updated and consolidated and replaced with preventative measures
based on evidence gathered through data collected on a national
level from hospitals and GPs, veterinary surgeries, police dog
units, and dog wardens, amongst other sources, instead of laws
based on the stereotyping of certain breeds.
Biographies for four key speakers at the dangerous dog meeting
held by the Kennel Club:
Kendal Shepherd BVSc CCAB MRCVS
Kendal qualified from Bristol University in 1978. With
extensive experience in small animal practice, she was the first
veterinary surgeon to be accredited by ASAB as a certificated
clinical animal behaviourist in 2005. She is currently
heavily involved in the behavioural assessment of dogs for the
Courts under both sections 1 and 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act
Danielle Greenberg BA Hons (Oxon.) MA BVSc
Danielle studied Modern History at Oxford University before
following her dream to become a vet. She qualified in 1998, and
works in a busy small animal hospital in Liverpool.
Christopher J. Mannion FRCS(Eng.)
FDSRCS(Eng.) PGC MedEd FHEA
Christopher qualified in Dentistry and then in Medicine from
Guys, Kings and St Thomas' Medical school. Christopher works as a
Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS
Trust. He has a subspecialty interest in trauma and facial
reconstruction. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University
of Leeds, School of Medicine, and is the Training Programme
Director for training in Maxillofacial Surgery.
Bill is the Kennel Club Health & Breeder Services Manager.
Bill has been involved with dogs all his life and bred his first
litter in 1982. He is a Championship show judge of Bull Terriers
and Miniature Bull Terriers and has officiated in a number of
countries around the world. He is a former Vice Chairman of the
Bull Terrier Club, and was a Committee Member from 1984 to 2007.
Bill's interest in dangerous dogs began as early as the late 1970s
when the American Pit Bull Terrier was first imported into the UK
in large numbers and since that time he has visited breeders across
the globe to gain a fuller understanding.