Tag Archives: nationwide

Belfast, N. Ireland, UK: Lennox killed by officials, but his legacy remains

We first reported on Lennox in late 2010, after he was seized from his home by authorities who said his appearance fit their idea of a “pit bull type” — a “type” of dog that is not legal in the U.K. Lennox had not actually done anything wrong; he was born looking “wrong.”

After two years of court battles, not even high-profile advocates and celebrities, tens of thousands of ordinary citizen supporters, and multiple sanctuary offers could save Lennox. Belfast refused to compromise. Lennox was killed yesterday by Belfast authorities simply for the crime of looking like a “pit bull.”

Lennox is not the only dog to be put down simply for being the wrong shape. We’ve shared with you many other individual dogs who have had the misfortune to be born with the wrong appearance in the wrong place. Breed discriminatory laws are everywhere, from cities in the U.S., to provinces like Ontario, to entire countries like the U.K. But although Lennox’s circumstances are not unique, he and his family had a large outpouring of public support that was quite unusual.

Lennox has become a symbol for many people of the injustice that is BSL. We also know that many people first heard about BSL because of Lennox.

We are hopeful that Lennox’s plight and the injustice to his human family, the Barnes family, leaves in his followers a legacy of awareness about BSL and a long-burning passion to stop BSL across the globe.

Our sympathies today are with the Barnes family and the many other families around the world who have lost friends, companions, and family dogs for no other reason than that their dog was born with the wrong physical appearance.

Breed discriminatory laws are in effect in many places. Innocent people and voiceless animals are suffering. If you haven’t already, please join us as we continue our efforts to stop BSL.

We appreciate these wise words from Animal Farm Foundation: “Every day there is a need — and an opportunity — to ‘Save Lennox.'”

More thoughtful commentary from KC Dog Blog: http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2012/07/lennox-the-dog-is-dead-and-the-power-of-channeled-passion.html

Trinidad and Tobago: BSL to go into effect, August 2012

We last reported on Trinidad and Tobago in May 2011. Trinidad and Tobago has had BSL in place since 2000 (regulating “pit bulls,” Japanese Tosa, and Fila Brasiliero), but the Act has never been enforced. T&T government has decided to enforce the BSL, effective August 2012.

Last year, the government was considering some revisions to the Dangerous Dogs Act, but as of today, they have decided not to revise it. The T&T Dangerous Dogs Act currently mirrors the Dangerous Dog Act of the UK, which has been a miserable failure.

The following news article also contains the text of the DDA for T&T. Click the article link (below) to read the entire article and to see the text of the DDA.

Man’s best friend in the doghouse

By CAROL MATROO Sunday, May 20 2012

Despite misgivings by various interest groups and dog lovers throughout Trinidad and Tobago, Government will apparently make the Dangerous Dogs Act law on August 1 without amendment.

The act, originally inspired by former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, was passed in June 2000 but was never proclaimed. It requires owners of dangerous dogs to be at least 18 years old, carry $250,000 insurance, adhere to special containment requirements, sterilisation and registration, and to apply and obtain a $500 annual licence per dog. […]

Full article retrieved 5/21/12 from http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,160437.html

All alerts for T&T: http://www.stopbsl.org/?s=trinidad

UK: 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act an obvious fail

UK statistics show that emergency room dog bite treatments have increased by 94% over the last ten years, reaching 6,097 treated bites in the year ending March 2011. Prosecutions of dangerous dog owners and costs for boarding seized dogs have also risen to new highs.

The 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act is generally acknowledged by most people in the UK, from vets to politicians to the general public, as a massive failure that does not adequately address dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog owners. According to the Daily Mail, the DDA is “often cited as a classic example of over-hasty law-making by ministers, officials and MPs working too fast in the face of a temporary scare.”

A couple of news articles from the UK this week have been interesting to read for their slant. Two new crossbreeds of dogs are generating concern, at least in the press: bull lurchers (Guardian) and presweilers (Daily Record). Both of these articles are worth a read; in particular, the sensational rhetoric used by the Daily Record to describe presweilers. (What happens when you put a Presa Canario and a Rottweiler together? You get a deadly cross-bred superbeast sharkdog, and, gasp, there are no laws against it!)

These mixed-breed dogs are not covered by the breed-specific portion of the DDA. Although the press recognizes the larger problem—hoodlums who want to own big, threatening, vicious dogs—much of the news coverage continues to place the blame on dog breeds. The news media seems determined to find fault with the DDA not because it is breed-specific, but because it is not breed-specific enough to keep up with the “dangerous breed du jour.”

As the failed DDA has shown us, it is not possible for a breed-specific law to effectively eliminate dangerous dogs. The hoodlums simply turn their attention to a new type of dog. Because there is no focus on the humans in the equation, thugs are free to continue misusing and abusing dogs of unrestricted breeds.

So, what’s being done about the DDA?

Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill [HL] 2010-11, which would overhaul the DDA and repeal its breed-specific portion, is moving along in the House of Commons (currently scheduled for second reading on 3/30/12).

For its part, the government has consistently rejected Lord Redesdale’s bill, indicating that it intends to introduce a different proposal. To that end, the Environment Department (DEFRA) has announced that it will introduce new dog control measures in the coming months. Unfortunately, we’re not convinced that DEFRA intends to repeal the breed-specific portion of the DDA. It remains to be seen exactly what the government will propose.

UK citizens and residents are encouraged to contact their government representatives (and DEFRA) and stress the need for effective breed-neutral dog laws.

Bermuda: Govt revises prohibited breeds list, creates new “restricted breeds” list

Bermuda has moved some previously prohibited breeds into a new restricted-breed category. (We last told you about this plan in September 2010, but the official breed list is now finalized.)

Prohibited breeds may not be imported or bred. All of the below breeds were also prohibited under the previous prohibited-breed list.

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Bulldog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Argentine Mastiff / Dogo Argentino
  • Boerboel
  • Brazilian Mastiff / Fila
  • Cane Corso
  • Presa Canario
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Tosa Inu
  • Wolf / Wolf hybrid
  • Any crossbreed of above

Restricted breeds can be imported or bred, but there are restrictions on ownership, such as special enclosures, property inspections, etc. Some of the below breeds were previously on the prohibited breed list, and some of the below breeds were not previously restricted or prohibited. I have noted the changes. Restricted breeds are as follows:

  • Akita (previously prohibited)
  • Australian Cattle Dog (previously unrestricted)
  • Belgian Malinois (previously unrestricted)
  • Bouvier Des Flandres (previously unrestricted)
  • Bull Terrier (previously prohibited)
  • Bullmastiff (previously prohibited)
  • Chow Chow (previously unrestricted)
  • Doberman Pinscher (previously unrestricted)
  • Dogue De Bordeaux (previously prohibited)
  • German Shepherd (previously unrestricted)
  • English Mastiff (previously prohibited)
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback (previously unrestricted)
  • Rottweiler (previously prohibited)
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier (previously unrestricted)
  • Any crossbreed of above

News articles with details regarding the new breed lists:

All alerts for Bermuda: http://stopbsl.com/?s=bermuda

Australia: Medical journal editorial calls for education, not breed bans

An editorial (note it is not a study, though it does cite studies to support its argument) in the Medical Journal of Australia says that breed bans in other countries have not improved public safety. Rather, the editorial authors are of the opinion that better dog safety education for children would help reduce dog bites.

We agree that child education is one excellent component for creating a safer community. Teaching dog owners about their responsibilities is another important component.

The editorial may be read here at the original source: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/195_11_121211/kim11319_fm.html

Listen to an audio news report (with transcript) from the Australian Broadcasting Company here: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3388691.htm

The Herald Sun has a more critical article, with a rebuttal quote from State Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh, and a disappointing comment from KidSafe Victoria president Robert Caulfield that he doesn’t think educating children will work: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/dog-breed-bans-wont-stop-bites/story-fn6bfm6w-1226219374164

View all StopBSL postings on Australia: http://stopbsl.com/?s=australia

Australia: National government urges all states to pass breed ban

Attorney General Robert McClelland and Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor have issued a media release stating that they would like all Australian states and territories to review their dog laws and think about adopting the recent legislation passed by Queensland and Victoria.

It should be noted that the media release does not explicitly recommend BSL or breed bans as the correct solution; the national leaders instead support these states’ “creation of new offenses and penalties.” We are left to read between the lines, since QLD and VIC recently passed several new dangerous dog laws, not all of which were breed-specific. McClelland and O’Connor are either supportive of, or ignorant of, the new restrictions that mean certain death for unregistered dogs that appear to be a “dangerous breed.” (The news article below puts forth the former interpretation.)

Australia citizens may contact and educate these two leaders about the tragedy of BSL at the below addresses.

The Hon. Brendan O’Connor, MP Minister for Home Affairs, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2601
Telephone: 02 6277 7290 Fax: 02 6273 7098

Attorney General Robert McClelland, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 7300 Fax: (02) 6273 4102
Email: attorney@ag.gov.au

Govt calls for uniform dangerous dog laws

news.com.au November 18, 2011 5:17PM

THE federal government has called for uniform state and territory laws for the control of dangerous dogs.

Attorney General Robert McClelland and Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor on Friday pressed state and territory attorneys general to adopt Victoria and Queensland’s approach to the registration and management of certain dog breeds. […]

Full article retrieved 11/18/11 from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/govt-calls-for-uniform-dangerous-dog-laws/story-e6freuyi-1226199295362

UK: Bill to repeal breed-specific law moves to next House

In the UK, the Dangerous Dog Act of 1991 bans four breeds of dogs: “Pit bulls,” Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Braziliero. Lord Redesdale has introduced a private members’ bill, Dog Control Bill [HL] 2010-11, that would replace the DDA. Lord Redesdale’s bill is breed-neutral.

The bill has been moving slowly through the necessary stages; it has just successfully cleared the House of Lords and is now in the House of Commons.

The bill may be tracked here: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/dogcontrolhl.html

Private members’ bills evidently rarely become law. Rather, such bills serve as a “test,” with the hope that the government will be inspired to take up and pass a similar bill. Although Lord Redesdale’s private member’s bill has come a long way and has considerable support from major animal organizations, the government does not support Lord Redesdale’s bill. The government appears to be making plans of its own.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): […] I hope that I can reassure all noble Lords that I understand their concerns about dog control. However, the Government cannot support this Bill. My noble friend Lord Henley had been working on a comprehensive package of measures to deal with dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog ownership. I continue to carry on his good work, including meetings with key stakeholders, and I hope to announce this package shortly.

The government has been extremely reluctant to repeal the breed-specific portion of the DDA, and rumor has it that the government’s proposal will change the DDA without repealing the BSL. However, it remains to be seen what will happen with Lord Redesdale’s bill now that it has reached the House of Commons.

The Kennel Club (UK) has further information and a link to a petition: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?ap=1&id=4018

I encourage UK residents to reach out to their national lawmakers and the government to show support for Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill [HL] 2010-11—in particular, the portion of the bill that removes the breed discriminatory language.