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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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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."