In 2014, APGAW decided to set up a division focussing entirely on dog related issues. After a number of years of work on dog breeding and control, it had become too big an issue to only dedicate a few hours a year, particularly when there are so many other animal welfare matters to be discussed within the main APGAW.
The sub-group meets throughout the year with the aim to identify legislative, policy and educational requirements (including where relevant funding and resource issues) to implement an England-wide dogs strategy. The group want to envisage where dogs and their welfare should be in 10-20 years time and what the different roles of central and local government are as well as the wider public sector and non-governmental organisations.
The sub-group is chaired by Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (Con) & Angela Smith MP (Lab). There are a number of other politicians who are active members of this sub-group.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP Angela Smith MP
Additionally, to assist with the development of this work the following organisations have also been part of the working group: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association, the Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, the PDSA and the RSPCA. However, there are a number of other key organisations with relevant expertise who will be sought for views and all APGAW members will be consulted.
The vision of the sub-group is:
For all those responsible for dogs in England to ensure their welfare is maintained at the highest possible standard.
The sub-group has identified the key issues under the headings of legislation/policy, education, enforcement and resource. That document can be seen here
Annual Dog Meeting
Every December, APGAW has a two hour meeting focusing on dog issues including breeding, sale, theft, identification, responsible dog ownership and the benefits of dog ownership. At that meeting the Sub-Group will set out its work and invite suggestions for its next workplan.
The Dog Sub-Group led by cross -party politicians completed its dog strategy and is now looking at areas of progress.
The report was compiled with the input of key stakeholders and aims to provide an overview of the key issues relating to dogs under four areas: Dog Control, Dog Breeding, Dealing & Trading, Dog Identification and Responsible Dog Guardianship. At this stage it briefly sets out why the issue has been identified and why the recommendation has been selected but does not go into detail as to how it will be done. That will be done in stages.
The strategy does touch on the issue of resource numerous times and the last recommendations asks both political and associate stakeholders to consider raising ring fenced funding via options including dog registration, a levy on dog food or a better breeding and selling licensing system.
You can read the Strategy here