The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today announced the start of a consultation, seeking views on a proposed package of measures aimed at tackling irresponsible ownership of dogs. Defra’s main proposals are:
● Extending the criminal offence of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control to private property (where the dog has a right to be) – without penalising the owners of animals that defend them against trespassers.
● Consulting on whether to micro-chip all dogs to help tackle the problem of irresponsible owners and ease the overwhelming number of strays that are put down as the owner cannot be identified.
● Giving the police more discretion to take common sense decisions by ending an anomaly requiring dogs be seized and kennelled, while a decision is taken on whether to exempt the dog from being destroyed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
● Issuing new guidance to help the courts deal more effectively with seized dogs.
There are also sums provided for projects promoting more responsible dog ownership and for the training of dog legislation officers in police forces.
To read the full statement by Defra Minister of State, Jim Paice, click here
Anyone may reply to the consultation. Defra would like to hear from anyone with an interest in responsible dog ownership, including enforcement agencies, people working with dogs, animal welfare organisations, dog-keeping organisations and the general public.
You can complete the survey on-line at www.surveymonkey.com/s/dogsconsultation2012
You can e-mail your response to email@example.com
You may also send your comments, or any requests for copies of the documents, by post to: Dangerous Dogs Team, Animal Welfare, Area 8B, 9 Millbank, c/o 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
Comments on the proposals in the consultation document should be sent by 15 June 2012.