More guide dogs are being attacked than ever before according to new figures.
An average of eight guide dogs per month are being hurt and this increase in attacks has led to David Cowdrey of Guide Dogs to call for compulsory micro-chipping of all dogs.
“There are a lot of out-of-control dogs and unfortunately the legislation in the UK doesn’t take into account responsible dog ownership in the way we’d like to see it,” said Mr Cowdrey. “We want to see compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs in the United Kingdom within two years.”
Mr Cowdrey believes the Government’s current plans to microchip all puppies will take “10 to 15 years to come into effect,” and describes it as “un-enforceable”.
Jim Moran, owner of Carlton, a guide dog recently attacked, remarked: “I could have been inconvenienced for a very long time. What guide dog owners would like to see is attacks on guide dogs being treated the same as attacks on humans.”
Compulsory micro-chipping of all dogs is seen as beneficial because it will create a link between a dog and its owner. Mr Cowdrey views this as useful because he believes “there is no such thing as a bad dog; just a bad owner.”
“At present you can only prosecute [the owner of an attacking dog] if it’s an attack on a person,” Mr Cowdrey added. “We want to see an offence created for a dog attack on a guide dog or other assistance dog.”