Kennel Club Campaigns in Northern Ireland

Dogs (Amendment) Bill

Proposals contained within the Bill include:

  • The introduction of compulsory microchipping of dogs;
  • An increase in the cost of the existing dog licence;
  • Amendments to existing legislation on dangerous dogs to include attacks taking place on private property and dog on dog attacks; and
  • The introduction of a range of dog 'control conditions' which can be imposed on dog licenses.

The Kennel Club opposes licensing, but welcomes the introduction of 'control conditions' and the extension of current legislation to include attacks on private property. The Kennel Club also supports proposals to bring in compulsory microchipping.

Welfare of Animals Bill

The Bill contains proposals for the general protection from suffering and applies to all vertebrates. It contains specific sections dealing with tail docking, showing of docked dogs and animal fighting.

The Kennel Club in general welcomes the greater protection from cruelty for all animals but is disappointed at the lack of proposals to tackle the farming and trafficking of puppies without regard to their health or welfare or that of the breeding bitch. Introducing stricter regulation in regard to breeding would reduce the volume of litters bred, ensure better education of the puppy buying public and ultimately reduce straying. The Kennel Club is opposed to legislation regarding the docking of dogs' tails which it believes should be a decision for the individual breeder based on his or her own knowledge of the dog.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill is an Executive-led Bill which, amongst its objectives, aims to create powers for local authorities to make restrictions on access for dog walkers to public places within the authority boundaries.

The proposed 'dog control orders' are:

  • Dog fouling
  • Dogs on leads
  • Dog exclusion
  • Maximum number of dogs to be walked by one person

The Kennel Club is proposing a number of amendments to the Bill:

  • Introduction of a right of appeal following public consultation.
  • Requirement on local authorities to consult through a variety of channels, as well as placing public notices in local newspapers.
  • Requirement on local authorities to specify the land to which the order shall apply, in order that meaningful public consultation can take place.
  • Requirement on local authorities to report access restrictions made to DOE (or other body) to enable record to be kept and subsequent monitoring.
  • To include the 'dogs on leads by direction' order, with a requirement for authorised officers tasked with enforcing legislation to hold or undergo training in dog behaviour enabling them to adequately determine when this should be used. 

Visit our KC Dog pages to find out how the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 has affected dog owners in England and Wales.

What can I do?

Contact your Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and ask them to support the Kennel Club's amendments. For help on what to include in your letter, use our suggested wording as guidance.

You may also wish to arrange a meeting with your MLA to discuss these proposals face-to-face.

For more information, or for further advice on how you can influence the debate, contact the Kennel Club Public Affairs Team on 020 7518 1020.


Related Topics

Welfare of Animals Bill Animal Welfare
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