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 - http://www.care2.com/causes/no-quebec-you-dont-need-a-pit-bull-ban.html

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 - www.writetothem.com

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 public@lawcommission.gsi.gov.uk.
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

Friday, 10 March 2017

Rescue Dog Troops

Out and about on his dog wheels:

One of our rescue residents - Troops, suffered a spinal stroke three years ago, he was rushed in as an emergency and spent a week at a specialist veterinary hospital undergoing treatment before being released home. 

He has been left with paralysis in both back legs and has a set of canine wheels which he was measured up for, we have also undertaken many canine hydrotherapy sessions and physiotherapy.

There have been many challenges along the road and a full recovery was never made, but we enjoy every day and find ways to make each day a good day, with fun, games, lots of mental stimulation and plenty of trips out in the car - a favorite especially with stops for food provisions :)

Diet and supplements have been constantly reviewed and we have built a special low bed with a deep memory foam mattress for extra comfort and pressure relief, grooming and massage is a daily favourite; improving circulation, maintaining flexibility and promoting relaxation, along with easing any tension in the muscles and joints.

Troops also likes a shower and a blow dry!