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Police agree to ‘punish the deed not the breed’


THE DANGEROUS Dogs Act was on the Agenda at the Kennel Club again earlier this month..

On 9th October, the Kennel Club hosted a ‘dangerous dogs’ meeting, to discuss the inadequacies of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, with a view to then making representations to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and suggesting ways that the current Act could be amended or even rewritten.

This meeting came about as a result of the initial forum organised by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at New Scotland Yard in June. Organisations in attendance included the MPS, the Kennel Club, Dogs Trust (formerly NCDL) and the RSPCA.


Duties

Chairing the meeting was Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens of the MPS, who, amongst other duties, is tasked with canine policy in the London area. The MPS are regarded as nationwide leaders with reference to their views and policy regarding ‘dangerous dogs’ and with their proactive assistance, dogs held under the DDA in the London area that pose no danger to the public have already been released after behavioural assessment.

All organisations present were in agreement that the DDA is currently unworkable, as breed specific legislation is not the solution. Furthermore, all agreed that a large percentage of dog biting incidents were due to the irresponsible actions of owners, who had either not taken the time and trouble to train their dog correctly, or had indeed trained them to become aggressive.

The slogan ‘Punish The Deed Not The Breed’ - that has long been adopted by Domino, the campaigning group of concerned dog owners under the umbrella of the KC and others - was discussed and approved by all present, further clarifying where the real problems of the DDA
A spokesman for the Kennel Club told OUR DOGS: "The KC is encouraged with the way in which the MPS and DLAG continue to work together and the next step will be to prepare a paper for civil servants at DEFRA and seek a meeting with them. It is envisaged that this paper will be produced by November and the next ‘Dangerous Dogs meeting will take place in the early part of the New Year."