MPs to debate Dogs Reports

11 June 2013

During a parliamentary debate scheduled for Thursday 13 June, MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will repeat their recent warnings to ministers that the Government must bring forward wider measures to tackle out-of-control dogs, including Dog Control Notices

Two recent reports* from EFRA Committee endorse draft laws to extend dangerous dogs offences to attacks on private property and on assistance dogs but criticise current proposals for not going far enough.

Ahead of Thursday’s debate Chairman, Anne McIntosh MP, said:  

"Our February Dog Control and Welfare report concluded that current laws had comprehensively failed to tackle irresponsible dog ownership.

Nine people, including six children, have died as a result of dog attacks since 2007; annual costs to the NHS of treating dog attack injuries are around £3 million; and some eight assistance dogs and hundreds of livestock are attacked each month.

In February, we said that the Government’s belated proposals for improvement were woefully inadequate. Our May report welcomed measures, now included in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, on dog attacks, but criticised them as limited in scope. They fall far short of providing a comprehensive and effective regime for tackling the increasing problem of out-of-control dogs. Strong measures to prevent dog attacks are conspicuously absent—in particular targeted Dog Control Notices. The Government must bring together the disparate dog control and breeding legislation into a single, comprehensive Act."

* The Committee reports to be debated are Dog Control and Welfare (HC 575) published in February and Draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill (HC 95) published in May 2013.

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