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BSL has failed, London Assembly members say
pitbull
It is understood that the Metropolitan Police alone will destroy around 300 dogs seized by officers this year.

Motion calls for a review of the Dangerous Dogs Act
 
Members of the London Assembly are calling for a formal review of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, as they believe breed specific legislation (BSL) - which prohibits certain types of dog - has failed to protect the public and dog welfare.

A motion was passed this week (7 December), which calls on the mayor to request a review from Efra's secretary of state.

Section one of the act, which is 25 years old, prohibits four types of dog - the pitbull terrier, Japanese tosa, fila
Braziliero and dogo Argentino. Assembly members said the legislation has not reduced the number of dog bite incidents and does not safeguard dog welfare.

The motion was brought by assembly member Steve O'Connell, who feels current policies to protect people from dangerous dogs are "not fit for purpose".

"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, commented: "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."

Cooper wants to see the government working with police and local councils, as well as organisations such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, to consider the best way to protect people from dangerous dogs.

The motion notes that authorities elsewhere in the world are reviewing or overturning their BSL - for example, the Netherlands, Italy and Lower Saxony, Germany, where other methods of reducing dog bites incidents have been identified.

BSL has come under intense criticism this year with charities including the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home revealing they are forced to euthanise numerous healthy animals every year that could otherwise have been rehomed, simply because of their appearance. Meanwhile, figures show dog bite incidents are continuing to rise.

It is understood that the Metropolitan Police alone will destroy around 300 dogs seized by officers this year. The status dog unit, which deals specifically with dangerous dogs, has seen a seven per cent increase in the number of seizures during 2016.

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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.