Monday, 23 April 2012

Wood Green also disappointed in Gov announcement

After waiting a number of years for Government to take action to tackle irresponsible pet ownership, animal welfare organisations today received the long awaited announcement.

While there are some positive outcomes from the response, Wood Green, The Animals Charity is particularly disappointed that the opportunity to make the changes that are so urgently needed to improve the welfare of dogs and to protect the general public and reduce anti-social behaviour has been missed.

Wood Green, has been working with other well respected animal welfare organisations to improve existing dangerous dog legislation to better protect the public while also maintaining high levels of welfare for dogs. The Charity welcomes the move to extend legislation to private places thereby providing a degree of protection to workers, like postmen, who need to access private property to carry out their work, but still feel this ‘piecemeal’ approach to legislation is not tackling the wider issues associated with dangerous dogs and responsible pet ownership.

The Charity has also been lobbying the Government on the separate issue of microchipping for some time. We are pleased to hear that we are a step closer to compulsory microchipping, but today’s response does not indicate how and when compulsory microchipping will be introduced. In the last month alone we have taken in 38 stray dogs, only 13 of these were reclaimed (11 of which were reunited with their owner because they were microchipped). Last year we microchipped in the region of 6000 animals. Sadly, thousands of unidentifiable dogs remain in kennels or worse are put to sleep when, if they were microchipped they could be reunited with loving owners.

Dennis Baker OBE says “At Wood Green we are actively working in our local communities to promote responsible pet ownership. In the last year alone we microchipped 1000 dogs through our Outreach projects and gave training and behaviour advice and support to reduce antisocial behaviour associated with dogs. The clear message coming back from owners is that legislation associated with dogs is at best unclear and this latest announcement has done little to clear-up this confusion.”

We would like to urge members of the public to respond 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.

To read the full statement click here - http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/04/23/clampdown-on-dangerous-dogs/ <http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/04/23/clampdown-on-dangerous-dogs/>

You can complete the survey on-line at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/dogsconsultation2012 <http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/dogsconsultation2012>

Alternatively, you can e-mail your response to: animalwelfare.consultations@defra.gsi.gov.uk <mailto:animalwelfare.consultations@defra.gsi.gov.uk>

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
Any comments on the proposals in this consultation document should be sent by 15 June 2012.

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