The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has reiterated its call for preventive action to deal with the problem of out of control dogs, as the Government announces a consultation on increasing penalties for irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to attack members of the public.
The BVA has worked alongside the major dog and animal welfare charities, police and other enforcers, and the Communication Workers Union to campaign for the introduction of dog control notices to be served on dog owners at the earliest sign of a problem.
The BVA and campaigners supported an amendment to introduce dog control notices to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill in July but it was defeated by one vote at committee stage. It is hoped that the amendment will be reintroduced as the Bill passes through the legislative process.
Commenting, Peter Jones, President of the BVA, said:
“We understand that penalties need to work as an effective deterrent but the key to reducing incidents involving dogs must be to prevent them happening in the first place.
“Of course education plays a very important role in helping people understand dog behaviour and the requirements for keeping a dog under control at all times, but we also need strong legislation.
“We have been campaigning vigorously for the introduction of dog control notices that allow trained enforcers to take action at the earliest opportunity and prevent these terrible incidents that the Dangerous Dogs Act has failed to reduce. Prevention is always better than punishment.”
Information on the Defra announcement on increasing penalties is available on the Gov.uk website