Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has called for reforms to be made to the breed specific part of the Dangerous Dogs Act. The legislation first passed in 1991 has seen fervent criticism in recent years with many groups calling for reform.
The main area of concern is around the arbitrary list of breeds that are considered ‘dangerous’ without consideration for other factors like the environment the dog has been brought up in and the circumstances of its life.
Many campaigners are frustrated that dogs are being unfairly an unnecessarily taken away and put down purely on their breed. However, the government said in response to the petition that “Simply repealing the breed specific provisions in dangerous dogs’ legislation with no other changes would increase the risks to public safety, which the Government is unwilling to do.”
Toby recently spoke in a Westminster Hall debate following a public e-petition on the subject, which had passed the requisite 100,000 signatures.
Toby said “Animal welfare and the issues that surround it are not only a passion for me but also for constituents. Hundreds of correspondence are received by my office around this and other animal welfare issues from badgers, to bats and to butterflies.”
He added “It is important that the government revise their position on the reform of this legislation. We have known since its inception that it is inadequate, and any arbitrary list of breeds will not provide the protection to the public whilst also putting down dogs with no evidence of violence or behaviour that impacts the community. I have received numerous letters and emails from local residents and I am pleased to be able to represent campaigners in my constituency during this debate.”
The contribution from Toby, along with the response from the Minister, can be found here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2022-06-06/debates/E7DC68B3-E1E5-449B-B922-F3333187C8FB/details#contribution-93C19C25-492B-434A-B0EC-ABDCFBD77A05
You can also watch Toby speaking in the debate at https://www.tobyperkins.org.uk/videos/