New dog strategy launched in parliament

02 December 2014

A Parliamentary working group for Animal Welfare, including the BVA, has today (2nd December) set out its recommendations for improving dog welfare under the next Government.

The report, “Review and Recommendations for Developing an Effective England-wide Strategy for Dogs” recommends that dog welfare should be a priority in breeding, sale and trade,  dog control and responsible ownership.

The report has been compiled and published in partnership by a small group of key stakeholders including Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, PDSA, and the RSPCA, with input from cross-party politicians.

The sub-group’s vision, which informs each of the 21 recommendations detailed in the report, is:
For all those responsible for dogs in England, to ensure their welfare is maintained at the highest possible standards and to be aware of and have consideration for that dog’s interaction with people and animals in their community.

Recent years have seen an increase in interest and awareness amongst politicians of dog-related issues, and the sub-group is keen to ensure that a better understanding of dog welfare and promotion of responsible ownership is enshrined in all future legislation. 

Speaking at the launch of the report, Sub-Group Chairman Rob Flello MP said:

“Dogs are the most popular companion animal in England and most of us come in contact with them in some form on a daily basis. There is a range of legislation relating to dogs, but many argue that it is outdated and no longer fit for purpose, This report shows that there needs to be a clear vision for dogs breeding, selling and ownership in England. One that encourages responsible ownership in a proportionate way that both raises the standards of animal welfare and ensures public safety”.

Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, Neil Parish MP, added:

“The need to develop an England-wide strategy for dogs has been on the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s agenda for some time, and I therefore welcome the publication of this report by the Dog Subgroup today. Dog issues are not party political, so I urge all my political colleagues to support this document and commit to implementing it after May’s election”. 

Today’s report is just a first stage of a longer term process for the dog strategy, with a second phase of work planned for 2015 where the recommendations will be developed further to provide more detailed approaches for policy-makers, enforcers, and stakeholders. 

BVA Media Office