Thursday, 4 February 2010

Liverpool councillor pushes for dog “amnesty”

Liverpool councillor Laurence Sidorczuk, is pushing forward with a proposal for a number of measures aimed at tackling so called “status dogs” including a dog “amnesty” and the muzzling of all “status dogs” in public places.

According to a variety of news reports Councillors Sidorczuk, Andrew Makinson, Ian Jobling and Colin Eldridge have tabled a ten step motion to Liverpool city councils safer communities select committee. The proposals are said to include :

Powers for police, dog wardens and Police Community Safety Officers to penalise offenders for:-

* Failing to remove dog faeces;

* Not keeping a dog on a lead;

* Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;

* Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded;

* The use of unlicensed residential premises for breeding of dangerous dogs.

* A general amnesty for dogs considered to be dangerous, whether they are banned or not,

* All 'status' dogs be both muzzled and on a lead in a public place;

* A free microchipping service for dogs of any breed to be funded through the Working Neighbourhoods Fund;
* Additional powers for PSCO's to support the work of the Dog Warden Service;

* Consideration of the feasibility of an online dog registration scheme with details such as photograph, name, breed, veterinary history, ownership and contact details.

Almost three years ago Merseyside police held an amnesty for banned breeds, which was an unmitigated disaster as owners used the amnesty as an excuse to hand in dogs they no longer wanted and a number of dogs died in police care . Costing thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money the amnesty has been proven to fail to protect the public so it makes no logical sense to repeat the exercise.

The suggestion that “status dogs” be muzzled and kept on lead in public again fails to tackle any issues. In one news article News Article Councillor Sidorczuk is stated as defining “status dogs” as “aggressive dogs paraded on the streets in order to give the owners the appearance of authority.” Does he honestly think forcing owners to muzzle those dogs is going to give the owner a lower “appearance of authority” or appear less intimidating?! Does he also think that those few who do encourage their dogs to act in such a way will run off and buy a muzzle and suddenly become a law abiding citizen?

If any amnesty is held it will be used to encourage irresponsible ownership as owners bored of their pets will simply hand them over for destruction. The dogs may not pose any danger and the council could then be stuck with kennels of dogs. Rescues are full and the only other option will be the destruction of friendly dogs which flies in the face of everything the country is doing to encourage responsible ownership.

The constant demonising of certain breeds and type is only making them more desirable to the wrong owners. We do not need further restrictions on dogs; we need further restrictions on who can OWN a dog. We encourage dog owners to contact the four councillors and Liverpool City Council and ask them to ditch plans for an amnesty and to look at other ways to encourage responsible ownership that is not breed specific.

Contact details are as follows:

Laurence Sidorczuk laurence.sidorczuk@liverpool.gov.uk
Andrew Makinson andrew.makinson@liverpool.gov.uk

Ian Jobling ian.jobling@liverpool.gov.uk

Colin Eldridge colin@colineldridge.org.uk

Liverpool city council

1 comment:

  1. For more information on a Dog Ownership Test please see http://www.petparliament.com/viewarticle.php?sid=115&aid=21

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