Dangerous Dogs Act

'Deal with the deed, not the breed'

The Kennel Club's position continues to be one of 'deal with the deed, not the breed', based on the circumstances of individual occurrences and it believes that it is unacceptable to ban all dogs of a specific breed based on the actions of a single animal. The KC believes every dog should be considered on its individual character as to whether it represents a danger to people.

Furthermore, there are various factors that breed specific legislation ignores that contribute to biting incidents and the Kennel Club maintains that irresponsible ownership is the most common. Instead of a law concerning the criminal and/or anti-social behaviour of some owners and the ignorance and misinformation of others, what currently exists is legislation that punishes a dog simply for the way it looks.

The government recently announced a package of measures to promote responsible dog ownership which includes the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs, the extension of section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to all places including private property, and the removal of the requirement to seize prohibited dogs which the police do not consider to be of risk to the public.

The Kennel Club supports, in principle, making dog bites on private property an offence, as this would encourage greater responsibility amongst owners and help ensure that their dogs are not out of control or behaving aggressively in public or privately.

The Kennel Club also supports the government's plans to remove the mandatory requirement to seize and kennel all dogs believed to be 'of type' whilst maintaining that breed specific legislation is fatally flawed. A large proportion of dog bites are due to the irresponsible actions of owners who have either not trained their dogs appropriately or have purposely trained them to be aggressive. Whilst this measure will help alleviate serious welfare implications for dogs being seized unnecessarily and aid in reducing the financial strains on the police, the legislation is still based on genetics and ignores the influence of the dog's keeper on its behaviour and as such will remain ineffective.

The Kennel Club continues to play an active role in lobbying against the injustices of the Dangerous Dogs Act and works alongside other animal welfare organisations which include the Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Wood Green Animal Shelter.

Last updated - November 2013

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