Tuesday, 23 June 2009

ASBOs for dogs could be on the cards

“Postal workers should be legally protected from dangerous dogs”, said David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

David is supporting a backbench Bill in the House of Commons to amend the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The Bill is promoted by Labour MP Angela Smith in response the "Bite Back" campaign organised by the Communication Workers’ Union.

David Williams continued, “I fully support the CWU's campaign to strengthen the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act. I was shocked to hear that over 6,000 postal workers were attacked by dogs in the course of their duties last year.

“I am also aware that there are many other workers at risk like shop delivery drivers, gas, water and electricity workers, district nurses, home helps, meals on wheels volunteers, etc.

“I know that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and this Bill is not about punishing them. However, we do need to tackle the few dogs that attack when unprovoked.”

The main provisions of the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill are:

- Make attacks that take place on private property a criminal offence. 70% of attacks on postal workers are on private property.

- Promote preventative action, giving powers to police and local authorities to deal with dogs that show unprovoked aggression. This could mean compulsory training, dog control orders or ASBOs for dogs.

- Extend the Act to cover dogs other than pit-bull types. The law should tackle the deed – not the breed.

David Williams concluded, “I have had many encounters with aggressive dogs when out door-knocking and leafleting. So I have a lot of empathy with postal workers on this issue and they have my full support.”

Further information on the CWU’s “Bite Back” campaign

The Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill will be presented to the House of Commons on Wednesday 1 July 2009.

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