The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare Sub-Group for Dogs has today (2nd December) launched its report, "Review and Recommendations for Developing an Effective England-wide Strategy for Dogs". The report has been compiled and published in partnership by a small group of key stakeholders including Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, the RSPCA, and PDSA, with input from cross-party politicians. It sets out a series of recommendations that the group hopes the main political parties will consider and accept as part of their policy making process leading up to and following the 2015 General Election.
The sub-group's vision, which informs each of the 21 recommendations detailed in the report, is:
For all those responsible for dogs in England, to ensure their welfare is maintained at the highest possible standards and to be aware of and have consideration for that dog's interaction with people and animals in their community.
From breeding, sale and trade, to dog control and responsible ownership, dog welfare is firmly at the heart of each recommendation. Recent years have seen an increase in interest and awareness amongst politicians of dog-related issues, and the sub-group is keen to ensure that a better understanding of dog welfare and promotion of responsible ownership is enshrined in all future legislation.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Sub-Group Chairman Rob Flello MP said:
"Dogs are the most owned companion animal in England and most of us come in contact with them in some form on a daily basis. There is a range of legislation relating to dogs, but many argue that it is no longer suitable. This report shows that there needs to be a clear vision for dogs in England, one that encourages responsible ownership and addresses the intricate relationships between people and dogs in a proportionate way that protects both animal welfare and public safety".
Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, Neil Parish MP, added:
"The need to develop an England-wide strategy for dogs has been on the All-Party Parliamentary Group's agenda for some time, and I therefore welcome the publication of this report by the Dog Subgroup today. Dog issues are not party political, so I urge all my political colleagues to support this document and commit to implementing it after May's election".
Today's report is just a first stage of a longer term process for the dog strategy, with a second phase of work planned for 2015 where the recommendations will be developed further to provide more detailed approaches for policy-makers, enforcers, and stakeholders.
You are download the report here