Government & Legislation

MPs launch inquiry into Dangerous Dogs Act

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee has launched an inquiry into the legislation on dangerous dogs.

There will be a debate regarding the effectiveness of the leglislation and the impacts of it on dog welfare.

According to the committee, the number of yearly hospital admissions for dog bites increased by 76 percent between 2006 and 2016. Also the RSPCA said that 30 people died between 1991 and 2016 in dog-related incidents of which 21 involved dogs of breeds and types not prohibited by law.

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The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced to protect the public from dangerous dog attacks. The Act made it an offence to keep four types of dog traditionally bred for fighting – the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Fila Brasileiro and Dogo Argentino – unless the dog was placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs and kept in compliance with certain requirements.

The committee is currently accepting written evidence from members of the public, with a deadline of 6 June 2018.

Neil Parish MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee, said: “The government is responsible for protecting the public from dangerous animals, so it is essential that laws evolve alongside our understanding of what works. The 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act banned four specific types of dog, but since then attacks have continued and 21 people have been killed by non-banned types.

“My committee will investigate whether the government’s current approach is having the desired effect, and whether any changes are needed to ensure that the public is properly protected and that animal welfare concerns are properly addressed.”

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