The independent London newspaper

Abolish the law that kills dogs because of the breed

07 November, 2019

Bishop the dog who was saved from a death sentence

• MY condolences to the dog Bishop’s family, (Pitbull who survived dangerous dog case passes away at 13, October 31), but the case highlights, yet again, the absurdity of section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), which requires the destruction of certain dogs based only on their physical characteristics.

Physicality is not a useful determinant of aggression in dogs, or in any being. There is in the UK an ever-increasing number of human fatalities by dogs, the vast majority of which are by non-banned breeds.

BSL legislation is harmful in lulling the public into believing that dogs without these physical measurements are more “safe” than others. Fatal attacks by non-banned breeds are on the rise as a result.

Non-profit organisation Born Innocent holds data and statistics on the types of homes from which the majority of these dogs are seized, and these are typically female, single-parent homes, that have no idea about the physical-measurement criteria of this law, as would be the case for almost anyone.

In fact fatal dog bites are on the rise and current legislation has not reduced this. Section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act should be scrapped, and legislation directed at temperament, behaviour and public education should be in its place.

That Sarah Goss’s family or anyone else’s should have to pay thousands of pounds and consume valuable court time to have a gentle dog deemed as such, yet then required to live only a small life versus other dogs (always muzzled in public, even when in a family car, always on a lead and required to live in a garden with six-foot walls, obviously not within the financial means of many Londoners) is a disgrace.

Bless Bishop’s family for the tenacity they had to save their dog. Many others do not have this option. The government (Defra) should absol­utely repeal BSL from the Dangerous Dogs Act.



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