Time to sit up and listen as 10,000 people call for 'deed not breed' dog legislation

It's time to stop rounding up the usual suspects - the real culprit is the owner

Animal welfare and veterinary organisations across the country are calling for the government to take urgent action after a petition to change ‘dangerous dogs’ legislation reached 10,000 signatures.

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group, made up of animal welfare organisations, veterinary professionals and local authorities, has lobbied against the inadequacies of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 for many years. The Act is widely considered to be one of the most ineffective pieces of government legislation ever brought into force. The DDASG believes that current legislation has failed to protect the public, and instead caused a significant welfare issue whilst creating the problem of so-called ‘status’ dogs.

The group is supporting a new Dog Control Bill designed to deal with the other end of the lead - irresponsible dog owners themselves - which has successfully passed its second stage in the House of Lords and is due to undergo Committee stage shortly.

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group launched a petition supporting Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill and this has now received over 10,000 signatures. The petition calls on the Government to repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with alternative legislation that

  • protects the public against dogs dangerously out of control without compromising any individual dog’s welfare 
  • embodies the principle of ‘deed not breed’, and opposes breed specific legislation on the grounds that a dog’s behaviour is influenced more by its environment, the training it receives and the responsibility of its owner, than it is by genetics (i.e. its breed or type)

Further Information

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG) is a wide-ranging group representing animal welfare, local authorities and veterinary professional organisations and includes representation from: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, Mayhew Animal Home, British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, Kennel Club, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Wandsworth Borough Council, Wood Green Animal Shelters.

The petition reads:

We, the undersigned, call on the UK government to repeal the Dogs Act 1871, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997.

We petition the Government to repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with alternative legislation that

  • Protects the public against dogs dangerously out of control without compromising any individual dog’s welfare
  • Embodies the principle of ‘deed not breed’ and opposes breed specific legislation on the grounds that a dog’s behaviour is influenced more by its environment, the training it receives and the responsibility of its owner, than it is by genetics (i.e. its breed or type)

We support the Dog Control Bill which seeks to better protect the public, place greater responsibility on dog owners and remove the huge welfare implications affecting dogs deemed to be of a certain type.