Prohibit the act, not the race |
It has been 30 years since the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in the UK, after 11 horrific attacks on people in 1991, and it is considered by many to be a perfect example of ‘rushed’ legislation passed in response to public demand. .
The law impacts the Isle of Man in that it is illegal to import a dog that is classified as dangerous in its provisions.
Certain breeds, or types of breeds, of dogs are prohibited – the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino, the Fila Brasileiro, and the American Pit Bull.
It is illegal to own, sell, breed, donate or abandon any of these types of dogs.
The law is often referred to as “breed specific legislation” (BSL), but the law does not recognize a dog’s family tree or pedigree.
And when it comes to pit bulls, a dog is considered a type of pit bull based on a set of measurements rather than any type of identifiable breed standard.
BSL has been controversial since its inception both because it was rushed by Parliament and because the dogs in question are often asleep even when in a good mood and not aggressive.
An exemption order, issued by a judge, may be an alternative to euthanasia in some cases, and dogs in this situation must be muzzled, kept on a leash in public, and live at an address registered with authorities.
These exemption orders are granted when it can be proven that a dog does not pose a threat to the public and that it belongs to a person deemed “fit and appropriate”.
British Veterinary Association, Kennel Club, RSPCA and many other UK animal charities are calling for BSL to be revised on its 30th anniversary, with more emphasis on breed neutral legislation which ensures responsible dog ownership rather than punishing dogs for how they look if they haven’t harmed anyone.
The RSPCA, Battersea and Blue Cross had to put 482 dogs to sleep between 2016 and 2021 due to legislation, and the three charities said the majority of those dogs could have been relocated.
Despite BSL, admissions to UK hospitals for dog bites increased by 154% between 1999 and 2019, according to figures from the UK Health and Social Care Information Center, and so BSL is clearly not functioning.
Fortunately, none of the dogs in our rescue kennels can be mistaken for a prohibited breed, most notably Jip which is a very unusual cross breed – a French bull dog crossed Jack Russell.
He is a small dog with a big personality who loves attention.
He could happily play with his human friends all day long, but he is very selective about which dogs he chooses to call his friends.
He can be reactive towards certain other dogs and be very vocal when meeting them. Ironically, given Jip’s size, he seems to dislike large dogs, so he must be kept on a leash in public areas – especially for his own safety!
Jip grew up with older children and enjoys being in a car. So it is an excellent pet in many ways, but it has high prey and therefore cannot live with cats or small animals.
If you would like to meet him, please call our kennel team at 851 672, option one.
In last week’s article we raised the issue of dog theft and its increase in the UK, warning anyone traveling ‘through’ with their dogs to be extra vigilant.
Here on the island, we have no evidence that any form of organized dog theft is occurring, but concerns have been expressed on social media that three or four missing dogs may have been stolen.
We don’t want to add to speculation, but it might be a reasonable precaution not to leave your dog tied up outside a store while you go inside to make a purchase, or to leave your dog unattached. surveillance in a rear garden which is easy to access.
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