An expert panel, hosted by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), is set to debate the topic of ‘dangerous’ dogs at the London Vet Show this week.
The session, ‘Breed or Deed? Unpicking the complexities of “dangerous” dogs’, will discuss the effectiveness of breed specific legislation and how to deal with the issue of dog aggression.
BVA junior vice-president Dr Elizabeth Mullineaux will chair the debate. She will be joined by:
- Dr Neil Hudson, Member of Parliament for Penrith and The Border
- Dr Sam Gaines, head of companion animals, RSPCA
- Cat Henstridge (Cat the Vet), first opinion veterinary surgeon and social media influencer
- Trevor Cooper, Cooper & Co Solicitors.
After the Government announced in September that XL bully type dogs will be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, the issue of how to tackle aggressive behaviour by dogs has become a major talking point.
The move has been welcomed by some in the veterinary profession, including by Neil Hudson MP, the only veterinary surgeon in the House of Commons.
However, the ban has also drawn criticism, including from the Dog Control Coalition, which includes the BVA and the RSPCA among its members. The coalition wants to see an end to breed specific legislation, with a focus instead on education and early interventions to deal with behavioural concerns.
Dr Mullineaux said: “Dog aggression and bite incidents are complex public health and social issues to which there are no easy answers or quick-fix solutions. With a fifth breed type now added to the list of banned breeds, and with cases of dog bites still increasing, it is important to carefully consider the short and longer-term consequences of the decision, as well as ask questions about how effective this step will be.
“I hope to see many of our veterinary colleagues attending London Vet Show at what promises to be an extremely interesting and important debate.”
The session will take place at the BVA Congress Theatre at 1.45pm on Friday, 17 November.
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