Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee
Dog Control And Welfare
HC 575, Seventh Report of Session 2012-13 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'Dog Control And Welfare (HC 575)' criticises the proposals from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to tackle irresponsible dog ownership, as being too limited.
Since 2007 dogs have killed seven people, including five children in private homes. The NHS also spends over £3 million annually on treating dog attack injuries.
Some eight assistance dogs are attacked each month, and thousands of livestock are attacked by each year. The report suggests that the Home Office approach to tackling antisocial behaviour is too simplistic, and fails to reflect the impact that poor breeding and training by irresponsible owners can have on a dog's behaviour.
Recommendations of the Committee include:
New rules for enforcement officers to be given more effective powers, including Dog Control Notices, to prevent dog-related antisocial behaviour.
Local authorities need to devote more resources to the effective management of stray dogs.
Changes in the legislation need to give powers to extend the banned list, to include other dogs with particularly aggressive characteristics; at the same time, those tasked to enforce the legislation should have the discretion to neuter rather than destroy a banned animal - where a particular dog poses no threat.
The Advisory Council on Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding should be given a formal regulatory role to enforce standards; any breeder producing more than two litters per year should be licensed and subject to welfare checks.
The Kennel Club should stop registering puppies from breeders not compliant with its own Assured Breeder Scheme.
Vets should lead an independent annual review of Breed Standards to eliminate health problems linked to breeding for exaggerated characteristics.
Lastly, MPs call on websites advertising pets to develop a voluntary Code of Practice.
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