Dogs are being needlessly put down because of useless laws, says the RSPCA as it fights against the senseless loss of life.
Current legislation has done nothing to stop attacks on children and other animals, they claim, arguing that the Dangerous Dogs Act which came into force 28 years ago should be repealed.
Dr Samantha Gaines, of the RSPCA, said: “The law was a knee-jerk piece of legislation to a series of high-profile dog attacks. But tragic fatalities as a result of dog incidents have continued.”
She blames “breed specific legislation” which can send a dog to death row for simply having the wrong appearance.
Dr Gaines added: “The law is letting down dogs who look a certain way, who have specific measurements, or who tick an unfortunate number of boxes on a list. This is unfair, unjust and wrong.
“It’s time the Government responds to research and does what’s right for dogs and for public safety – and ensure both are better protected.”
This month the RSPCA highlights five dogs euthanised due to BSL: Diesel, Cookie, Jasper, Jet and Rocky were all put down because of the Act.
BSL prohibits the owning, breeding, selling, advertising or rehoming of four types of dogs: Pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Fila Brasiliero and Dogo Argentino.
Dogs suspected of being a prohibited type are assessed by police and compared with a breed standard. Depending on how closely the dog matches it they could be identified as “illegal”.
The RSPCA says: “Legally we’re forced to put them to sleep which is distressing.”
Last year, Environment Committee MPs launched an inquiry and recommended the Government review the law.
Now the RSPCA is awaiting Middlesex University research that disproves BSL.
Dr Gaines added: “BSL can mislead people to believe some breeds are safe, when any dog has the potential to bite. It fails to protect public safety and seriously compromises dog welfare.”
A government environment spokesman said: “We will consider the research findings before taking any decisions.”
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