We are so happy you’re interested in getting involved with our work here at Save Our Seized Dogs. By lending your support to our campaigns you can help us make a difference.
CONTACT YOUR MP/MSP/MLA
American XL Bully ‘Breed’ Ban - we are asking you all to email or write to your MP, MLA in Northern Ireland, MSP in Scotland and MS in Wales.
If you need help finding out who your MP/MSP//MS/MLA is, you can use these links:
UK Government MPs: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP Scottish Parliament MSPs: https://www.parliament.scot/msps/current-and-previous-msps Welsh Parliaments MS: https://senedd.wales/find-a-member-of-the-senedd/ Northern Ireland Assembly MLAs: http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/your-mlas/locate-your-mla2/
Please also email the Prime Minister & Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP & Prime Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP - Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (email@example.com)
Here is the suggested letter:
Impending American XL Bully ‘Breed’ Ban
As a member of your constituency, I want to implore you not to support the government decision to add the American XL Bully ‘Breed’ to the list of banned breeds on the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991).
[insert personal reasons here]
I strongly oppose the government’s decision last week to add another ‘type of dog’ the XL bully to the banned breed list. Like the pit bull, the American XL Bully is not a breed of dog it is a type of dog. Breed Specific Legislation has failed the public for 32 years and repeating this mistake by adding other breeds is insanity.
We fully sympathise with anyone and their family who has been either injured or killed as a result of a dog attack and we understand the governments concerns but breed bans don’t work;
· They don’t deal with irresponsible owners and breeders. Breeders with bad intentions will create other hybrids to circumvent the ban. These will likely be even bigger dogs than the American XL Bully.
· Genetics are only part of the picture. It is argued that a dog’s upbringing and environment have a larger role to play. If the government only focuses on genetics, they will overlook the crucial role of proper training and care of dogs.
· Innocent well behaved dogs who find themselves in dog pounds or in rescues through no fault of their own will be killed purely because they fit ‘a set of measurements.’
· Social housing and some landlords don’t allow tenants to have banned breeds in their properties; even though a dog has been deemed safe to be put on the index of exempt dogs. This could lead to people being put in an impossible position and they could become homeless.
I would like the government to:
· Focus on the real issue of responsible ownership of dogs, the focus on breed detracts from this. The resources used in seizing and holding dogs based on appearance would be better directed at dealing with complaints from the public of dogs in the community displaying concerning behaviours.
· Strongly investigate reports of owners with dogs behaving in a manner which causes concern in the community, dog wardens need more power to intervene to remove dogs from owners who don’t adhere to dog control orders and punishments for irresponsible dog owners need to be much more severe.
· Educate the public on the importance of quickly dealing with problem dogs via the relevant authorities.
· Put in place licencing and registration for dog breeders. This requires a UK wide uniformed approach to this by councils and must be enforced by dog wardens and the police.
· Ban online puppy sales.
· Introduce a ‘fitness to own’ test for dog owners and affordable community-based training programs.
· Add animal welfare and bite prevention to the school curriculum.
When Calgary, Alberta, enacted and enforced a new aggressive-dog ordinance, the city experienced a 56% decline in aggressive-dog incidents and a 21% decline in biting incidents in just two years. Calgary does not restrict particular breeds of dogs, focusing instead on protecting the public from all aggressive dogs, regardless of breed. The city’s animal-control wardens have a problem-solving approach when dealing with members of the public. For example, wardens are encouraged to get out of their vehicles and talk with community members. This act alone can help build trust between law enforcement and the public. Calgary reduced dog attacks without banning pit bulls.
A study involving the U.K.’s Dangerous Dog Act (which banned pit bull terriers, among other breeds, in 1991) concluded that the ban had no effect whatsoever on stopping dog attacks. In other words, nearly three decades of enforcing an ineffective law has impacted countless dogs and dog lovers in a devastating way. Klaassen B., Buckley J.R., Esmail A. Does the Dangerous Dogs Act Protect Against Animal Attacks?
For every irresponsible dog owner there are 1000’s of very responsible ones with well-behaved dogs. Research conducted by Middlesex University, in collaboration with DEFRA, also overwhelmingly supports the idea of responsible dog ownership, it shows that the current Breed Specific Legislation does not lead to decreased injuries from dog bites. It is obvious that whilst the authorities concentrate on removing dogs from their homes due to their appearance it leaves little resources to tackle the problem of lack of responsibility in owning a dog.
We are a nation of dog lovers and the Parliamentary Petition started last week speaks for itself, it is already at over half a million signatures: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/643611
I implore our government not to make more ineffective, knee-jerk decisions and look forward to receiving your considered response.