Sunday, 8 November 2009

Dog Owners bite back against Kit Malthouse

Dog owners have reacted angrily to proposals by Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayor or Policing Kit Malthouse to wipe entire breeds of dog off the map.

Under the plans, all bull dogs including the Staffordshire Bull Terrier would need to be registered, muzzled and neutered, effectively killing off those breeds within the UK.

Breed clubs across the country are now in the process of a letter-writing campaign to prevent these proposals from ever being implemented in the UK.

Writing in the Times earlier this week Kit Malthouse labeled the animals as "weapon dogs":

"As well as punishing owners appropriately for use of this weapon, we should be bolder about removing it from circulation altogether.

In Ontario, that is what has happened. The provincial government produced a law that banned all bull breeds and derivatives, including pitbulls and the Staffordshire bull terrier. All such existing dogs had to be registered, neutered and muzzled, leading to the bull-types dying out and owners learning to love the labrador or pug. The result? A huge fall in the number of dog-related injuries and incidents. This approach manages to be both humane to those who have a dog of this type and draws a line under the problem.

Serious penalties will make dog owners think twice, but surely it is time for us to look to our Commonwealth cousins and find a way gently to phase out the canine weapons that terrorise the streets of Peckham, Toxteth and Moss Side."

Kit does not mention the fact that in Ontario, owners who refused to have their pets neutered, were forced to hand them over to the state where they were then "euthanized" or killed.

In a letter to the Deputy Mayor sent yesterday, Helen Reaney of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Council writes:

Dear Mr Malthouse,

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is horrified at the irresponsible comments you made in the on-line version of The Times. Your suggestions regarding the Stafford are totally ridiculous and it is clear that any research conducted by the Deputy Mayor’s office has been totally inadequate, exhibiting an appalling degree of incompetence...


Eighteen Breed clubs across the country are now believed to be in the process of writing to Mr Malthouse about this, with anger spreading into the speciality press


While the RSPCA have also campaigned against the proliferation of "status dogs" they have instead concentrated on "the deed and not the breed"

Dangerous owners, not dangerous dogs

The problem dominated the RSPCA's first annual conference in June this year where Tim Wass, chief officer of the RSPCA inspectorate, made it clear that:

"Everyone is rightly talking about dangerous owners, rather than dangerous dogs."

With that in mind, the RSPCA believes that current breed-focused legislation is failing enforcers, dog owners and the dogs themselves.

Any future legislation should focus on the 'deed rather than the breed' of the dog. "Dogs are a product of their environment rather than their breed, and it is the growing culture of irresponsibility that needs instead to be challenged," explains Chief Officer Wass.

Neither Boris Johnson, nor the Conservative leadership have yet given their public backing to Kit's proposals.

17 comments:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Something needs to be done though about dangerous dogs in London, there is a serious problem with them.

AdamB said...

There is yes. I think dog licences for certain breeds would be the better (and less authoritarian) way to go. Better enforcement of the current law would help as well, although it's harder for a politician to get a headline by simply saying 'enforce the law'

Anonymous said...

What's not to to like about banning dangerous dogs- it's common sense in the sort of damaged environment we live in-
lots of other things should be banned like dangerous/aggressive car drivers etc.

AdamB said...

Because it's not banning dangerous dogs, it's banning all dogs that happen to be of a certain breed. Some might be dangerous and some might not. Like humans for that matter.

prj45 said...

I agree, it's not the poor dogs' fault.

People obtain dogs that look agressive, and then call them things like Tyson, Mauler and Ripper.

That tells me the sort of behaviour they expect from their dog, and I'm sure the dog (doing what dogs do) provides it in spades.

I've met soppy rottweilers and agressive labradors in my time.

Having said that some of the inbreeding required to keep these breeds going is cruel in itself.

Tom said...

"lots of other things should be banned like dangerous/aggressive car drivers etc."

They are, aren't they? In that there's provision for removing the licence from a driver and punishing him if he subsequently drives (I'm not saying it's *enforced* as well as it could be).

Anyway, I'm sure Mr. Malthouse's party introduced a really badly written law on just this subject, so I'd like to know what's wrong with that. Is his Unique Selling Point 'Fixing Failed Bits Of Past Tory Policy' or something? Airports, tunnels under Park Lane, Dangerous Dogs Acts...

Appealing of Ealing said...

Tom said...

"Is his Unique Selling Point 'Fixing Failed Bits Of Past Tory Policy' or something"

Wasn't the Labour Party supposed to fix that? Instead they've just introduced an unbelievable mountain of their own junk legislation. I don't hear you complaining about any of that.

Appealing of Ealing said...

AdamB said...

"it's banning all dogs that happen to be of a certain breed. Some might be dangerous and some might not."

Maybe we should ask all the dogs to sign affidavits promising that they're going to be nice.

AdamB said...

Affadavit:

I swear to actually engage with the arguments at hand, rather than to project ridiculous positions onto other people

Signed: Appealing of Ealing
Date: Never

Appealing of Ealing said...

woof woof

Wireman said...

If you're reading this on fwix, you're benefitting from content theft. Happy with that?

Tom said...

"I don't hear you complaining about any of that."

That's because you're fucking deaf, old son. I've got a point-by-point examination of the Inquiries Act somewhere around the net, plus all the Blairwatch stuff I wrote pre-2008 about things like ID cards (picked up by the Register), Regulatory Reform etc. Stop confusing me with a Labour supporter.

AdamB said...

It seems that Kit's colleague, and all round good egg Roger Evans is in agreement with me.

Meanwhile Kit has held a dog summit at City Hall. Is it me, or is the whole "phasing out" of these dogs being put to one side now?

Anonymous said...

Kit should talk to the experts in the Met Police. They know the dimensions of the problem but would not recommend anything so draconian. They have been advising the Home Office.

Appealing of Ealing said...

Tom said...

"That's because you're fucking deaf, old son. I've got a point-by-point examination of the Inquiries Act somewhere around the net, plus all the Blairwatch stuff I wrote pre-2008 about things like ID cards (picked up by the Register), Regulatory Reform etc."

Commendable. My hearing response is still in the range -- there's a different reason why I haven't digested any of the above.

"Stop confusing me with a Labour supporter."

Yes, that is an egregious slur. Please accept my apologies.

Anonymous said...

You only have to check details of dog attacks and the Staffordshire bull terrior will come out tops. I can't understand anyone wanting to defend this breed which is responsible for attacking children,adults, other dogs, horses and sheep. People are frightened to go out for a walk in the park. It's sickening.

Bitter Sophist said...

It is PEOPLE who is a problem, not dogs. Should we ban matches and knives too?

This is idiocracy. Instead of putting more emphasis on teaching children and adults about dogs, we want to get rid of the victims of bad breeding! Ban bulldogs, dog fights amateirs will fight other dogs until you'll have to ban all dogs whatsoever.

In the wrong hands even a yorkie can be a fatal weapon.