Dangerous dog law review recommended

MPs are calling for a full-scale review of the Government’s “well intentioned, but misguided” strategy for controlling dangerous dogs.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report, “Controlling dangerous dogs”, said breed-specific legislation (BSL) fails to protect the public while harming animal welfare.

The inquiry was launched to investigate BSL and wider dog control, amid concerns the approach was not protecting the public adequately.

The committee said an alternative dog control model should be developed focused on prevention though education, early intervention and consistently robust sanctions for offenders.

Headline recommendations include:

  • Removing the prohibition on transferring banned breeds to new owners.
  • An independent review into the factors behind dog aggression and attacks, and whether banned breeds pose an inherently greater threat.
  • Mandatory dog awareness courses for owners involved in low to mid-level offences.
  • Awareness campaigns to encourage responsible ownership and improve childhood education on staying safe around dogs.
  • A new Dog Control Act to consolidate the existing patchwork of legislation and provide enforcement authorities with new powers.