An anti breed specific legislation group has reacted in horror to the confirmation that previously legal dog breeds and cross breeds are to be caught up in the net designed to outlaw ‘Pit Bull Terrier type dogs’.
Legislators in the UK have put together a piece of law which will ban previously legal breeds and cross breeds. The bill will, it is promised, see Britain free from dog attacks by ‘the dangerous dog breeds’.
Legislators behind the bill claim it will “eradicate the more dangerous dogs that can inflict injury upon children” and will better protect the public from serious, fatal dog attacks. They go on to set out the grounds of the new bill and exactly which dogs could fall foul of the new legislation.
Any dog weighing in excess of 20kgs.
Any dog in excess of 16” of height to the shoulder.
Dogs carrying liver, black, white or brindle markings.
The bill will not take in to account parentage, breed or DNA profiles. Any dog weighing over 20kgs or taller than 16” to the shoulder could be banned. It is acts regardless of the behaviour exhibited by the dog meaning any dog that fits the criteria above will be in breach of the new bill. Any dog who falls within the above criteria must be neutered, tattooed, chipped and kept on lead and muzzled at all times in public. Owners must also ensure their dog is covered by special third party liability insurance.
The bill also makes it illegal to be in possession of, sell, give away, allow to stray or advertise an un-exempted dog fitting the illegal criteria. Owners in breach of the law will find themselves liable for prosecution, which could lead to a fine, criminal record and up to six months in prison. The dog will also be seized and destroyed.
With the bill finalised the authorities will spend millions of pounds building up teams to enforce the law and ensure dangerous dogs are taken and destroyed. For those who may be affected by the new legislation the following information may be useful.
I’ll bet you are.
The bill I’m talking about is actually the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. It’s not new. We’ve had it for a while. And I apologise if it caused you to gulp as a result of the manner in which I presented it.
Your dogs aren’t illegal. Well not most of them anyway. Some of you may have a dog that someone pushes into “pit bull type” and sadly you’re not safe.
But I am willing to bet some people’s hearts were a flutter. Welcome to the world of anyone who owns a dog that *might* catch the attention of an over zealous DDA enforcer who sees a large, shall we say for example, Staffy x Boxer and decides he’d better nab it and get it off the streets ‘just in case’.
If that seems cruel, indiscrimnate and likely to tear people’s lives apart, it’s because it is and it does.
So technically, and make no mistake about this, previously legal (and still legal) breeds and cross breeds ARE being caught up in the vicious ‘pit bull net’.
How cruel it is to tell people their dog’s illegal because it’s a bit tall or a bit heavy. But remember that lump you had in your throat for a moment back then, thinking it might be your dog about to get caught in the DDA dragnet, that’s the daily life for many owners of perfectly legal dogs as they live in fear. Fear about walking their dog. Fear about taking their dog to the vets. Fear every time the door is knocked. And why? For no other reason other than they own a dog which happens to look a certain way.
Good people, just like you, the person reading this, have their dogs removed because it doesn’t look right. You may be a little bit hacked off at me right about now but you know what? Be grateful you got a second chance to own your pet without fear. BSL is similar to cancer. It spreads. If you want to keep a hold of your feeling of security help repeal the law. It’s not your dog today and in all probability it won’t be your dog tomorrow, but someone’s dog is going to be taken and someone else’s dog will lose its life – purely because of how it looks. This can’t go on.