The British Veterinary Association has joined forces with the UK’s leading animal welfare organisations to urge the UK Government to repeal breed specific legislation (BSL), which ‘sentences dogs to death’ simply because they look a certain way, and to introduce measures to protect the public better.
Battersea, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, RSPCA, Scottish SPCA and BVA have all teamed up as the Dog Control Coalition to throw their weight behind the #EndBSL campaign.
Friday (August 12) marks the 31st anniversary of the Dangerous Dogs Act: legislation that was introduced in 1991 following a number of serious dog attacks in the UK.
While there are parts of the Act that, importantly, protect the public from dogs who are dangerously out of control, the coalition is calling for urgent change to one part of the law, which labels certain types of dogs as dangerous purely based on their looks.
BVA president Justine Shotton said: “A complete overhaul of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act is urgently needed. Blanket targeting of specific breeds rather than tackling the root causes of why dogs act in an aggressive way gives a false and dangerous impression that dogs not on the banned list are ‘safe’ – this fails to properly protect the public or safeguard dog welfare.
“We are disappointed that despite the findings of last year’s independent report by the University of Middlesex, the Government has failed to include a review of breed-specific legislation as part of its ongoing work on responsible dog ownership.”