Disappointed with Government's stance on BSL

We pledge to continue fighting for dogs let down by the law

28.01.19

We're disappointed with the UK's Government's announcement that it will not commit to reviewing the current legislation which brands four types of dogs as dangerous.

The Government has today responded to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee's announcement, released in October.

The announcement followed a public inquiry based on evidence provided by us and other animal welfare organisations that showed no robust scientific evidence that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) works.

Calling for an end to BSL


Our high-profile #EndBSL campaign called on the UK Government to review Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991 which, under BSL, prohibits the ownership of four types of dogs: pitbull terrier, fila Brasiliero, dogo Argentino, Japanese tosa. We've been calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of BSL in protecting public safety and dog welfare since August 2016.

No evidence to support prohibited dogs are more dangerous

Dr Samantha Gaines, our dog welfare expert and lead author of the 'Breed Specific Legislation: A Dog's Dinner' report, said:

We're extremely disappointed that the Government is still suggesting that prohibited types of dogs are more dangerous than other types of dogs and that they're involved in a disproportionately high number of attacks on people, including fatalities.

The RSPCA, in its evidence to EFRA, made it very clear that in the absence of robust data around the dog population such claims cannot be made and it is misleading to do so.

We are also hugely disappointed that despite EFRA recommending changes which would mean that friendly and rehomeable banned types of dogs could avoid being put to sleep, the Government is unwilling to do so.

Dogs are paying the ultimate price

Samantha continued:

For the past 27-years thousands of dogs have paid the ultimate price as a result of this draconian and unjust legislation which penalises dogs simply for the way they look. This has lead to the unnecessary destruction of hundreds of friendly and well-behaved family pets and dogs that organisations like ourselves could rehome.

We're looking forward to the conclusions of the research project currently being undertaken by Middlesex University. Our own research has shown that there is a lack of scientific evidence to support BSL and positive evidence against it. We remain confident that the outcome of the research will be one which recommends breed neutral legislation and that Government will act on this.

The Government urgently needs to act on this; public safety and the lives of thousands more innocent dogs in the future rely on it.

Help us #EndBSL

We remain strongly opposed to Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act (BSL) and will continue to campaign for immediate repeal and replacement of the law.

Take action today for dogs affected by BSL