Monday, 31 July 2017

Anti-BSL Rallies Held Globally:

Dog lovers have united worldwide in peaceful protests, rallies and awareness days which have taken place in a united global day of anti-breed specific legislation events this month.

The UK joined the global day of action once again and London took part with a peaceful protest, the Westminster event was held on Saturday 15th July and there were also awareness day events in Coventry West Midlands and Cardiff, Wales.

The Westminster protest was organised by DDA Watch Ltd, a campaign group which helps and supports dogs and their families affected by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and this years' event marked 26 years of failed, unjust dog law in the UK.

Ottawa, Winnipeg, Ontario, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Barrie, Truro, Nova Scotia in Canada and Germany also held anti-BSL events for the 15th July as part of the Global Anti-breed specific legislation issue affecting dogs and their families world wide.

Dog lovers travelled across the UK to unite and take a stand for innocent dogs and to call for a repeal of a failed piece of legislation that targets types of dogs and condemns them as 'dangerous' based on their physical appearance.

The Westminster protest was a grass-roots gathering, with volunteers present who actively campaign and support innocent dogs and their families being torn apart by breed specific legislation on a daily basis.

Attending to support the event was veterinary surgeon and animal behaviourist Dr Kendal Shepherd MRCVS, canine behaviourists Robert Alleyne and Jordan Shelley and dog trainer for film, television and stage productions, Robert Stuhldreer with his beautiful assistance dog Flora. One supporter was dressed as the 'Grim Reaper' with a message for Defra attached to the black outfit which said 'I am Breed Specific Legislation' and gave out information leaflets to those passing by outside the Parliamentary buildings.

Giving out plenty of canine kisses was the beautiful Staffie named 'Whippet', a Battersea Dogs Home Ambassadog who came along to support the event with her mum, Chris McLean. Whippet wore her special pink coat with the words 'Breed Specific Legislation Murders My Friends' written on it, raising awareness for her doggy pals.

At the event in central London, there was a large white sheet headed ‘People’s Messages to Defra – 26 Years of Tears’ and dog lovers wrote their own personal messages to be sent to Government; some in memory of much loved dogs who had never put a paw wrong and have been killed by the outdated legislation. 
Another precious dog named Paul was remembered, heartbreakingly his casket of ashes was brought to the protest to show the end result of many dogs affected by this harsh and unfair legislation. Paul had lost his life in 2015 and campaigners shed tears as his casket was placed in remembrance at the event.

Banners and placards were held high just outside the mighty buildings of Westminster where the law which condemns dogs based on their appearance was first passed 26 years ago; a young supporter who had travelled a considerable distance held up a photograph of Lennox, a canine victim of breed specific legislation from Northern Ireland whose death five years ago this month had sparked global outrage and condemnation, bringing the injustices of the legislation to the attention of thousands of people across the world and leaving a legacy of hope that disastrous BSL will one day end.
Two supporters from Devon held up their placard for a much loved dog named Sky who is held incarcerated and caught up in a legal nightmare due to BSL. 

Another innocent dog named Blitz who has been tragically sentenced to death under the barbaric law and endured two and a half years imprisoned on canine death row was remembered and many members of the public were shocked to learn that this is what can and often does happen in the UK and overseas, to pet dogs who have never bitten or hurt anyone. Several people who stopped to speak to the campaigners expressed their disgust and shock that this legislation exists in Great Britain and other parts of the world.

Over two thousand DDA Watch leaflets were distributed in central London and further petition signatures were gained to help create awareness of the situation which campaigners say is long overdue for repeal.

Maria Daines, a Director of DDA Watch and one of the event organisers said: 'It is high time breed specific legislation was at least extensively debated in parliament with a view to repealing section 1 (DDA) which has proven over 26 years to be ineffective, unfair and cruel to the dogs and families affected by it. Education (as opposed to prohibitive legislation) is necessary and helps to keep dog owners, the public and canine companions safe; Banning, restricting and killing dogs that look a certain way is ridiculously outdated, heartbreaking for many and a waste of public money. In 2017, we can and should be doing much better for our canine friends, their families, the public and those who work with dogs, including stray and rescue dogs.'

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Five Years Today

Rest In Peace Lennox 
and all victims of breed specific legislation

Gone but not forgotten 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Royal Mail and CWU Dog Awareness Week

Dog Awareness Week July 2017:

Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union are launching their annual dog awareness week 3 – 7 July.
As the UK school break for their summer holidays, families enjoy the summer weather, which is good news for them but BAD NEWS FOR POSTAL WORKERS as this signals what Posties know as the ‘dog-bite season’ and the time of the year which traditionally sees a big spike in the number of attacks.

Royal Mail and postal workers trade union the CWU will be campaigning again to raise public awareness and urge customers to be responsible dog owners as well as urge caution amongst postmen and women who want to provide a good service but sometimes pay a heavy price.
CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce said: "Seven postal workers are attacked by dogs every day of the year. It is unacceptable and the whole idea of Dog Awareness Week is to highlight the problem and the repercussions for dog owners and the victims, many of whom are seriously injured and some can not return to mail delivery work”.
“Over 70% of Dog Attacks on Postmen and Women occur on the garden path or at the doorstep of the dog owners home. It just needs owners to restrict their animals access to the front garden or to put their dog in another room before opening the door to collect a parcel or sign for an item.”
“Customers are always pleased to see the Postman or Postwoman arrive as they’re eager to take delivery of their goods they’ve ordered and paid for on the internet but thousands of customers who own a dog unfortunately don’t give a second thought to the Postal Worker’s safety by putting the dog in a safe, secure place.”  
“The vast majority of our customers and their dogs aren't a problem but irresponsible and reckless dog owners are.”
“The new dog control laws now identify and penalises irresponsible dog owners and many are now facing prosecution and paying heavy court penalties and end up withcriminal records. So it’s in their best interest in more ways than one to make sure the dog don’t bite the Postman.”
“One Essex dog owner was recently fined £8,800 after his dog injured a Postwoman’s fingers as she put letters through the door – which is another problem Postal workers face!”
“The penalties can also include losing their dogs, being banned from dog ownership, paying compensation and even a Jail sentence.”
“Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned. No matter what breed of dog is involved, the dog can present a substantial danger to postal workers."

Top tips for dog owners to help the postman or woman deliver the post in safety:
• Keep your dog indoors around the time that the postman calls to deliver mail.
• Before you opened the door to collect a parcel or sign for an item - put your dog in another room.
• Make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack the postman.
• If you have a back garden, close off the access, so your dog can't get round to the front when the postman calls.
• If your dog attacks the mail and could bite a postman’s fingers as he puts mail through your letterbox, please fit a letter box cage.
• If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman delivering your mail, consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Quebec's Proposed BSL Bill.128

Quebec's proposed Bill 128 would be catastrophic - please sign the petition against it.

The proposed law, Bill 128, is the start of a gradual approach to legislating breeds in Quebec, according to Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux, who introduced it last week. Eventually the provincial government will be allowed to ban any ol’ breed of dog it decides is “dangerous.”

“Should Bill 128 pass, the result will therefore be the systematic, large-scale putting to death of dogs in shelters across the province,” stated the Montreal SPCA in an April 14 press release that said the ban would have “catastrophic consequences.”
Petition -

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

London Assembly Requests Review of Dangerous Dogs Act

News regarding the request of a review is still eagerly awaited and we expect and hope that there will be positive news after the London Elections in May and the General Election in June.

The London Assembly agreed a motion, in December 2016,  calling on the Mayor to write to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to request a formal review of the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991).

The Assembly believes the Act – which uses Breed Specific Legislation to prohibit certain types of dog - has not reduced dog bite incidents and fails to protect dog welfare.

Steve O’Connell AM, who proposed the motion said:

“This is about recognising the current policies designed to protect people from dangerous dogs are not fit for purpose, as well as improving animal welfare standards.
It’s important that, if the current system is not working, we look at other ways of handling what is a growing problem.
The consequences for victims of a dog attack can be devastating and I hope the relevant authorities take note of our motion.”

Leonie Cooper AM, who seconded the motion said:

“It’s abundantly clear that the Breed Specific Legislation isn’t effective. We need stronger, more extensive legislation to reduce the number of dog attacks and bring irresponsible owners to justice.
Government must work not only with the police and councils, but organisations such as Battersea Dogs & Cats Home too, to consider the best way to protect people from dangerous dogs and safeguard animal welfare. It’s reassuring to see we have cross party consensus over what is a really important issue.”

The full text of the Motion is:

“The Assembly notes that the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) is 25 years old this year. 
It is noted that the Metropolitan Police will destroy around 300 dogs that have been seized by its officers this year. 
The Status Dog Unit, a special team of police officers only dealing with dangerous dogs, has seen a 7% increase in seizures in 2016. 
The Act’s aim, to use Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) (as applied through s1) to prohibit certain types of dog has not reduced dog bite incidents or the number of prohibited types of dog. 
The Assembly accepts that BSL has not had a positive impact on improving human safety or protecting dog welfare.

The Assembly notes that other authorities have started to review and overturn BSL such as the Netherlands, Italy, and Lower Saxony, Germany and have identified other ways of reducing dog bite incidents. 

The Assembly calls on the Mayor to write to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs asking for a formal review of the legislation as proposed by the RSPCA and for London bodies such as the Metropolitan Police, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the stray dog services of the London Boroughs and relevant non-governmental organisations to be part of this review.”

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

EFRA Commons Debate On Animal Welfare

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Select Committee Announcement


Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, is pleased to announce that he has been granted a debate on animal welfare in the House of Commons Chamber. The debate will start at approx. 11.30am on Thursday 30 March. 

You can contact your own member of parliament to find out whether they will be attending and supporting the debate.
MP contacts can be found online here -

Neil Parish MP says “Our inquiry into animal welfare highlighted the scale of the puppy trade in the UK. The quality of life of the puppies vary considerably and I believe that banning the third party sale of dogs is essential to improving the condition of dogs sold in the UK. Since the publication of our report, many welfare organisations, such as the RSPCA, have changed their minds on third party sales and agree that there should be a ban. I will be urging the Government to look again at this issue.

During our inquiry, we found that incidences of inhumane treatment of animals are all too common. Sentencing powers under the Animal Welfare Act are some of the weakest within the international community. The Animal Welfare Act was a landmark piece of legislation in 2006, but it is now time for the Government to legislate to increase the maximum custodial sentence for animal cruelty. I believe that the maximum penalty should be increased to five years.”

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Law Commission asked for submissions on which areas of law would benefit from reform, they are interested in examining laws which are:

causing substantial unfairness;

widely discriminatory or disproportionately costly; or

caused by laws or policies that are complex, 

hard to understand or have fallen out of step with modern standards.

We wrote to them concerning breed specific legislation and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, as amended, this is their latest reply:

Dear stakeholder,
Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform: First sift
Thank you for responding to our recent consultation and proposing that the Law Commission consider undertaking a law reform project on the question of reviewing the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. In line with our published timetable, we have now completed the first sift of submissions and I am pleased to tell you that Commissioners have selected your proposal to be taken forward for further consideration.
We had an excellent response to our consultation. We received more than 1300 submissions, many of which could potentially translate into valuable and important law reform projects. As I am sure you can imagine, it is taking us some time to evaluate what are often quite detailed suggestions.
To help us decide which proposals to include in our programme, we apply rigorous selection criteria relating to importance, suitability and resources. We also consider the degree of support available from the government department relevant to each project, and whether the department is able to give an undertaking that there is a serious intention to take forward law reform in that area. We are currently in the process of meeting with Departments to assess the potential level of support for your proposal.
If you would like to discuss with us what more you could do to support the case for this project, please contact
We would also be grateful for suggestions of groups or individuals that could assist us in gathering more evidence supporting the impact of the problem you have outlined and the benefit of reform.
Commissioners will be deciding on the final list of projects in May, after which, as required by the Law Commissions Act 1965, we shall refer the programme to the Lord Chancellor for approval. At this point we will contact you to let you know whether your proposal has been selected for the Programme. All being well, we hope to publish the Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform in July 2017.
Yours sincerely,
Phil Golding
Chief Executive