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The Kennel Club’s Parliamentary Update

Dangerous Dogs Act Guidance Leaflet

In March, the Animal Welfare Bill Team at DEFRA sent the Press Office a copy of the first draft of a dangerous dogs identification leaflet (all dog matters now having been brought under the jurisdiction of DEFRA). The Kennel Club had a number of concerns with the leaflet and was anxious to meet with DEFRA representatives to discuss these. The Press Office is happy to report that DEFRA agreed to the KC’s recommendations and have amended the leaflet accordingly.

Animals (Electric Shock Collars) Bill

David Rendel MP introduced the Bill for its first reading on 12th February and the second reading will take place on the 11th July 2003. The Bill has been well supported by Mr Rendel’s parliamentary colleagues and, if passed into law, will make it an offence for any person to use, procure or permit the use of an electric collar or similar device on any animal, with any person being convicted under the Act, liable to pay a fine. This action follows a number of meetings that have taken place regarding the use of electric shock collars, culminating in a joint presentation by David Rendel and the Kennel Club to the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare in April 2002 at the House of Commons. This Bill is supported by other major animal charities including the NCDL and PRO Dogs.

UKDOG

Andrew Rosindell MP, David Amess MP and Lord Hardy of Wath officially launched UKDOG at Crufts. The coverage in both dog papers has been extremely positive and as a result of this Andrew Rosindell put forward an Early Day Motion (EDM) praising both the Kennel Club and PRO Dogs on the initiative. This EDM was delivered to the House on the 24th March and has received cross party support with 30 MPs having signed it to date. The Press Office is currently analysing responses to the questionnaire distributed to UKDOG supporters at Crufts and aims to release the findings next month.

New Zealand ‘Dangerous Dogs’

The KC continues to monitor and lobby against Breed Specific Legislation throughout the world. The most recent country considering such legislation is New Zealand, where the flawed UK DDA 91 is being studied closely with a view to adopting similar legislation, but also outlawing the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Reports received confirm that concerned dog owners from New Zealand are currently lobbying Parliament and the KC is liasing with colleagues in New Zealand, who have asked for our assistance. It is envisaged that liaison will be on-going.