Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is disappointed by the Government’s response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee Report on Dog Control and Welfare, published yesterday (17th April). The response to the Committee’s recommendations highlights the Government’s piecemeal approach to tackling the various issues surrounding dog control and welfare, particularly dangerous dogs. Dogs Trust has long campaigned not only for a complete overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act, but a thorough consolidation of dog legislation to provide better protection for dogs, their owners, and the general public, and the Government’s unwillingness to take this approach is very discouraging.
Dogs Trust is particularly concerned by the Government’s continued refusal to introduce Dog Control Notices, which are preventative measures applicable to dog control issues only, unlike the generic measures proposed by the Government in its draft anti-social behaviour legislation. Dogs Trust has grave concerns about the merits of tackling irresponsible dog ownership under generic anti-social behaviour measures.
The Government has made progress in certain aspects of promoting responsible dog ownership this year – particularly its proposal to introduce compulsory microchipping for all dogs from April 2016 and its commitment to working with the voluntary sector in dealing with the issue of the online sale of pets and animals. However, yesterday’s response highlights the need for greater action to be taken in order to tackle the problems of dog control and welfare in this country.