Every dog owner will have to take a costly ‘competence test’ to prove they can handle their pets, under new Government proposals designed to curb dangerous dogs.Oh, fantastic!
Now little old ladies and families on minimum wage have another choice to make between eating and heating their homes - registering their tiny pooch who may be their only friend and companion, and has never so much as growled at the postman, while the chav down the street with the six ravening pitbull-alikes will either pay with the proceeds of their drug deals or black economy or more likely, not bother.
Knowing that given a choice, the authorities will move them further down the list and concentrate on the soft targets instead.
Owners of all breeds would also have to buy third-party insurance in case their pet attacked someone, and pay for the insertion of a microchip in their animal recording their name and address.And if that works for dogs (it won't, but still...) how long before some bright spark decides it's a bang-up idea for humans too..?
The proposals are among a range of measures to overhaul dog laws in England and Wales being considered by senior Ministers, who are expected to announce a public consultation within weeks.Great timing! Alienate a few more millions just in time for the election! Truly, this government never misses a chance to shoot itself in the foot, does it?
Even the sleepy, toothless, trusting old RSPCA has woken up and decided to give voice to the intruders at the door:
The RSPCA said last night it would welcome a review of legislation which has failed to curb the numbers of dangerous dogs that can attack, and sometimes kill, children and adults.Well, no, in your shoes, I'd be bearing my teeth and growling a warning, too.
But a spokesman for the charity added: ‘We would not support anything that would hit sensible owners while failing to police those who are a danger.’
No more bequests for you, if little old ladies are going to be bled even dryer by legislation you supported, right?
There are also plans to boost the enforcement powers of police, the courts and local authorities.Ah, of course. More powers. And why not? It's not like that's ever gone horribly wrong in the past, is it?
An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘We welcome a review but the problem is that while responsible owners will abide by the rules, inevitably you are going to get a fraternity that does not. There are always people who will buy a dog from their mate in a pub and won’t tell the authorities.Well, yes, even a child can see that one coming. So why can't our political policy geniuses?
‘So the danger is that sensible owners will be out of pocket while irresponsible dog owners will ignore any new rules unless the policing of them is rigorous.’
He said, for example, that while the RSPCA encouraged the use of microchips, the system relied on owners keeping the information up to date.Quite. In fact, just yesterday I got the usual vet's glossy magazine and what was in there? A heartwarming story of a family who regained their lost dog via microchipping, and a story of a lost cat unable to be returned because the owners had moved and not kept up the address details.
‘It is no good finding an aggressive dog roaming the streets, perhaps having attacked someone, and going to the address on the microchip to find that the owner hasn’t lived there for years,’ he said.
That's someone who (presumably) wanted their harmless pet's return, yet simply forgot to update their details.
So we can't really expect Daryll 'Stabby' McChav to do the same with his crossbreed pitbull when it's likely to take a bite out of a member of the public, can we?
When are we going to learn? Ministers should never be left alone with