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Felixstowe: New government dog measures step in right direction but lack bite, warns Blue Cross

16:00 07 February 2013

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton and Andrew Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross.

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton and Andrew Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross.

Archant

BOSS of an animal welfare charity with a pet rescue home in Felixstowe says proposed new government laws on dogs do not go far enough to deal with irresponsible owners.

Kim Hamilton, chief executive of the Blue Cross, which has one of its busiest re-homing centres in Walton High Street, welcomed the decision to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs and an extension of laws to ensure owners of dogs who attack on private property can be prosecuted.

The charity will be offering free microchipping to dogs and cats at its network of animal hospitals and rehoming centres but said databases would need to work together, with registrations kept up to date by owners, and that there is still need for further regulation to help stop dog attacks.

“The government’s decision to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs promises to make a lasting impression on animal welfare,” said Ms Hamilton.

“Blue Cross has campaigned long and hard for microchipping and will be offering free chips to dogs and cats at its animal hospitals and rehoming. But these changes alone will be little comfort for the victims of dog attacks.”

While the changes announced will also allow owners of dogs who attack on private property to be prosecuted, the charity warn such action will still be too little, too late.

The charity has been calling for the introduction of preventative measures for potentially dangerous dogs, which would allow the authorities to step in after signs of antisocial behaviour but before an attack has taken place.

“The current situation still fails pets and endangers the public,” said Ms Hamilton.

“An early preventative strategy would educate dog owners, helping to improve their pets’ behaviour and knowledge of their responsibilities. Blue Cross believes that dog ownership can be a good thing – regardless of the breed – when people are properly informed and supported.

“Without tackling this problem the reputation of some dog owners, and the breeds of dogs they choose to own, will continue to suffer. This could lead to people being penalised and marginalized.”

2 comments

  • When I first heard this on the news the other day my first thought was “people who dump dogs or don’t take care of them are not likely to bother having them chipped”. MZH below seems to agree with that sentiment. Charities, like the BlueCross, do an excellent job and they already microchip any cat or dog that goes through their rehoming process, but what I cant help but worry about is if someone does ‘dump’ their dog then will that dog be return to the owner that didn’t want it? Will they try and dispose of it another way? What costs are tied up in prosecutions etc, it should be about ensuring the pet is fit, healthy and found a new forever home, not about handing back Rover to the man that didn’t want him or won’t have the funds to pay any fines imposed. If this new law is about being able to trace the owners of dangerous dogs then I doubt the dog would be chipped – not sure what the law is trying to achieve unfortunately.

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Personally I don't think irresponsible dog owners will bother having their pets microchipped regardless of whether its the law, after all the law says you can't have certain breeds of dog in the uk but there is still an element of people with them out there!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Friday, February 8, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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