Addressing a dog’s actions before they become a problem is the right way forward in Wales, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
A bill called the Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill has been drafted and is now out for consultation, which aims to address dog control problems through three key steps.
Firstly, by extending the scope of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control anywhere in Wales including private property; amending the Dangerous Dogs Act to make it an offence for a dog to attack certain other animals; and lastly, making provision for local authorities to serve Dog Control Notices (DCNs) as a preventive measure and encouraging more responsible dog ownership through training.
BVA president Peter Jones commented: “Once again the Welsh government is taking a lead on canine issues by seeking a more preventive approach to dog control.
“The announcement clearly recognises that a dog’s behaviour is primarily the result of the way it is reared, socialised and trained and not the way it looks, and that irresponsible ownership needs to be tackled in a constructive manner before it becomes a problem.”
He also added that many of the elements in the draft bill are changes that have been made through BVA campaigns, alongside dog welfare organisations and the police. He added: “The BVA has championed the use of Dog Control Notices and we support the extension of the law to cover private property and attacks on other animals.
“The Dangerous Dogs Act, which focuses on a dog’s breed, has failed and ultimately the BVA wants to see it repealed. We hope that these bold measures in Wales will be another step towards better dog control legislation across the UK.”