A series of anti-breed specific legislation protests and rallies have taken place across the world in a united day of peaceful protest this weekend (15-16 July) marking 25 years of failed, unjust legislation in the UK.
In the UK, events took place at Westminster London, Cardiff Wales, Belfast Northern Ireland and Herefordshire.
The Westminster event was organised by DDA Watch Ltd, a campaign group which helps and supports dogs and their families affected by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Dog defenders rallied at Westminster with people of all ages travelling in from all over the UK, united to speak out and call for a repeal of a law that targets types of dogs and condemns them as ‘dangerous’ based on their physical appearance. Over two thousand DDA Watch leaflets were distributed in central London and petition signatures gained to help create awareness during the event.
There were speeches from grass roots workers on the front line, poems and a period of silence to remember all those who have and continue to, suffer and die as a result of the legislation; a tribute was read, flowers and collars were laid and a candle was lit, the ashes of a dog named ‘Paul’ were laid alongside a sheet with the names of some of the canine victims written down – Paul was a recent victim of BSL and much loved, he represented all those lost. Silence fell outside the mighty building of Westminster and tears were shed as heads bowed and remembered.
Many of the placards and banners held represented a dog tragically lost to BSL – each case highlighting the injustice and loss, held high for all to see, one supporter was dressed as the ‘Grim Reaper’ to represent BSL and stood alongside the campaigners, which included children holding up photographs of dogs lost due to the legislation, a poignant moment in the heart of London just a short distance from where the law was passed and could be repealed.
Ontario, Quebec, Winnipeg, Victoria, Montreal, Ottawa in Canada and Germany also held protests on the same day as part of a global movement to repeal breed specific laws.
Sian Morton, a Director of DDA Watch and one of the event speakers said: “Breed specific legislation continues to cost millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money to enforce and does nothing to protect people nor dogs alike, neither does it promote responsible dog ownership. Thousands of pets continue to be put to death or deemed ‘dangerous’ based on their physical appearance, the law makes no sense, is barbaric and is long overdue for repeal, DDA Watch advises dog owners and supports dogs every day of the week who have been ripped apart from their families even though they have never put a paw wrong.”