Endangered Dogs Defence & Rescue (EDDR) supports the total REPEAL of section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act; it should be consigned to the scrap heap where it truly belongs.
EDDR does not support breed specific legislation (BSL), such as the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (DDA) which has failed over the past sixteen years to prevent many serious dog attacks whilst proving to be unworkable and grossly unfair to responsible dog owners and dogs alike.
Our position is based on years of experience with BSL in the UK; our voluneers have worked daily at grass roots level directly with the dogs most affected by the legislation since the Act’s introduction and with the families who have suffered due to its draconian nature, presumption towards destruction and presumption towards guilt.
We feel that attempting to ban types of dog has not actively worked to protect the public or promote responsible dog ownership; it is not the solution to problems created by irresponsible owners and breeders. This has been shown time and time again as responsible dog owners are persecuted whilst irresponsible or uneducated owners and breeders are largely unaffected-their dogs may be seized and put to death, but the real problem is the other end of the lead. EDDR, along with many other groups, believe it is time to focus on the dog owner rather than the breed or type of dog.
Breed specific legislation is fundamentally flawed because it assumes that all dogs of a specific breed are inherently dangerous based on the actions of a few clearly in irresponsible hands. It is not based on any scientific fact or logical thinking. Dogs are restricted and deemed dangerous according to their phenotype - what they look like largely determines their fate.
Any dog of any breed can behave aggressively, labeling all individuals of a specific breed as ‘dangerous’ sends a false message to the public; that all other dogs not banned will automatically not show any aggression.
In our opinion, breed or ‘type’ bans are a smokescreen which falsely give the impression that ‘action’ has been taken to prevent dog attacks, when in reality little is being achieved. It makes good headline news to be seen to ‘get tough’ meanwhile those who are actually misusing dogs go largely undetected or simply move onto another breed of dog and so the cycle continues.
It is time to get tough on bad owners and not the dogs themselves. The present law targets dogs not people. The growing problem of irresponsible dog owners as well as those purposely breeding dogs to line their own pockets with no regard to the welfare of their dogs is not addressed by the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Look around any inner city area and you will see dogs being abused, misused and kept in appalling conditions-when a dog is seized as a ‘type’ and removed from an irresponsible owner, that person simply moves on to abuse another type of dog, the dog pays with its life. BSL doesn’t address this problem and is not a solution to the ‘yobs with dogs’ culture growing in some city areas. Instead responsible pet dog owners as well as rescue dogs can and do become caught up in the legislation deflecting resources away from the real problem.
“Give a dog a bad name and hang him” - that is what society has achieved, unable to look at our own faults we allowed breeds to be demonised, the DDA caused thousands of innocent dogs including the old, young, abused and disabled to be put to death by order of a flawed law which then set the trend for other countries to follow-the domino effect. It’s time to get it right, to stand up and be counted, we support the RSPCA, DDAWatch and C-Fidos in calling for a repeal of BSL in the UK.