Staffordshire bull terriers have been unfairly “stigmatised” as dangerous dogs and make “perfectly harmless” family pets, a government minister has said.This is Jim Paice, the agriculture minister, who makes his comment just as this incident hits the headlines:
Police were called after a snarling dog attacked at least two people in Leeds city centre.
The drama began in Briggate, Leeds, shortly before 12.45pm yesterday when a Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog went out of control and attacked a street vendor and then a woman shopper.
Now, Paice is quite right in that – with a responsible owner – most Staffies will not be a problem:
However, he said ministers were considering reforms to the law, expected to be announced early next year, in order to make sure dog owners face up to their responsibilities to control potentially dangerous animals.
As the Leeds incident shows, though, it's going to take a Herculean effort to get that through to some people:
Bodyshop assistant Ms Emma Snowden said: “The dog apparently went for the chestnut seller around the ankle and the dog’s owner began to batter it to get it under control.”
Some people shouldn’t be allowed to own animals. And some are little better than animals themselves:
And we remain ridiculously sentimental about animals, even those that should be expunged from the earth without a second thought:
PC Glenn Tucker who had gone to Hammond's caravan to detain him in September, told the court of Hammond's howling.
The officer said: "He was making shrieking and howling noises, as you would expect a wolf to howl.
"I understand that he was maybe calling his dogs."
The dogs will not but destroyed but are to be re-homed.Partially because the judge was unable to distinguish which of the dogs took part in the attack and so was ‘responsible’.
Jane Ellison, Conservative MP for Battersea, told the Commons she feared that Staffordshire bull terriers had developed a bad reputation following a series of attacks.
Clutching a picture of a dog, Ms Ellison told MPs that the animals were among the most difficult to re-home.“One of the consequences of the dangerous dogs debate has been the stigmatisation of an entire breed, the Staffordshire bull terrier,” she said.
The MP urged the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to back a campaign to rid the breed of its bad reputation.
Doesn’t DEFRA have enough to contend with with badgers and farm animals? How is the government supposed to make this change?
Well, new (probably equally ineffective) legislation is planned:
And none of this will make the slightest bit of difference. Why not?
The minister said negotiations were “at a very advanced stage” on reforming the law, and suggested that details would be announced early in the new year.One key area for reform is likely to be the current rules making it impossible to prosecute dog owners if an attack takes place on private property, including in their own homes, on private roads, and privately run housing estates and parks.
Postal workers are particularly at risk and ministers are considering changes to make such legal action possible.
Because it's going to be administered and monitored and enforced by the same people who are failing utterly to carry out their duty under the current law.
I said a day or so ago that this country is doomed. Well, as we can see, it’s clearly going to the dogs!