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BVA: ‘Cautious welcome’ to gov’s dangerous dogs report response

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called the government’s response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee’s ‘Controlling dangerous dogs’ report “disappointing” in its refusal to ban breed-specific legislation.

However, BVA has welcomed the research commissioned into the effectiveness of such legislation as an encouraging first step towards an evidence-based overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

BVA president, Simon Doherty, said: “We are disappointed that the government has not listened to the evidence provided by us and other animal welfare organisations against the effectiveness of a breed-specific ban on dogs. However, it is at least encouraging that it has commissioned research to assess the effectiveness of current dog control measures and examine factors that may cause dog attacks.”

He went on to say this was a “positive first step” towards a more “robust, evidence-based and fit for purpose legislation”. He added: “We welcome the government’s commitment to centralised data collection on dog attacks and a focus on preventing dog attacks through the promotion of responsible dog ownership and dog safety education for children.

“Any dog of any size has the capacity to be aggressive and dangerous, particularly when it is not properly trained or socialised, which is why BVA has always stressed that the problems caused by dangerous dogs will not be solved until owners appreciate that they are responsible for the actions of their pets.”

BVA’s position statement on dangerous dogs can be viewed at:,_campaigns_and_policies/Policies/Companion_animals/ps_dangerous_dogs.pdf

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