MSPs told it’s time for a rethink on dangerous dogs

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Falkirk’s MSPs are being asked to lend their weight to a bid by animals charity the SSPCA to change the UK law on “dangerous” dogs.

It rejects the idea that dogs can be classed as dangerous purely by their type, and is urging legislators to consider “deed, not breed” when framing new rules.

The SSPCA argues councils are under-funded, under-trained and therefore ill-equipped to enforce the law, which means innocent dogs suffer because of poorly designed legislation.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The Society has been opposed to the Dangerous Dogs Act since its conception.

“It is our belief that the Act is fundamentally flawed and was rushed through parliament following a series of high profile incidents at the time.

“Although this matter is reserved to Westminster, any changes to the legislation would also apply to Scotland so we are urging MSPs to get involved in the discussions.”

He added: “In Scotland we currently operate under both the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010.

“The number of reported dog attacks has risen since the introduction of this legislation, highlighting its ineffectiveness.

“We wholeheartedly believe that no dog can be classed as dangerous simply due to its breed.

“Any change to legislation will also need to take into consideration the enormous amount of public money wasted on kennelling dogs for unnecessary periods of time while they await a court decision.

“We absolutely agree that members of the public must be protected from aggressive dogs, but the legislation should deal with the deed, not the breed, with a greater legal emphasis on irresponsible dog ownership.”