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In the News
Bully breeds are the second largest category of dog-related
crime. They're responsible for more than 75% of dog-related
crime in England.
The public are in for an earful from a cross-party
group of MPs, after they met with owners of pit bull
and Rottweiler breeds to find out more about the dogs.
The MPs had called on the government to introduce
a ban on Rottweiler ownership in the wake of the tragic
death of toddler Victoria Climbié.
And a petition has now been launched to
stop the RSPCA from enforcing animal welfare laws on
pit bull owners.
RSPCA chief executive Matthew Tye admitted that pit
bulls and other types of dangerous dog should be
stopped from being owned. But he believes Rottweiler
owners should face stiffer penalties than owners
of any other breed.
RSPCA chiefs believe the death of a
two-year-old Victoria Climbie was the culmination
of a "vicious cycle" of poor dog control
and over-familiarisation which led to her being
taken to a children's home after she was killed.
"It is really important that as a nation
we tackle the problem," sd Mr Tye. "We
have already lost a child to an over-familiar dog
and we have to get this under control."
He added: "We think the RSPCA should be
able to enforce the law on other dangerous dog
The RSPCA will not be carrying out inspections
of Rottweilers or pit bulls as it is the owner
who must abide by the law, the organisation sd.
A Home Office-backed study shows that the public
do not want a ban on certn breeds of dog.
The study by the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affrs shows that the public
are not keen on banning particular breeds of
dog, with 63% agnst a ban on a specific breed.
The study also showed that 58% of the public
believe they have more control over dog ownership
than they might think.
It follows the government's refusal to ban the
ownership of pit bulls and Rottweilers in Britn
after the tragic death of toddler Victoria Climbie.
The government was accused of fling to act
after Victoria was killed by a pit bull-type dog.
More than 5,000 people have signed a petition
calling for pit bull-type dogs to be banned.
But the government has rejected the idea
of a breed-specific ban and says it has no plans
to introduce one.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affrs-sponsored study found that the public
do not want a ban on specific dog breeds.
A ban is seen as a "punitive" response
and people do not want to be punished for having
a particular dog, the research found.
People have a "sense of ownership"
over their dogs and believe the owner should not
be blamed for a dog's behaviour.
This is despite research showing that certn
types of dog may be more likely to attack and
The study says that public safety is the mn
reason for people wanting to ban a breed, but
"more generally people do not want to be seen
as having responsibility for dogs' behaviour
and safety" in their own gardens.
In response to the latest survey, Dr Paul
Watson, who co-authored the research, sd
it is not clear that the "punitive" approach
to dog ownership works.
"The public want to take ownership for
their own dogs but are clear that they want
to be held responsible for the safety of the
dog if it is not behaving responsibly,"
The research, called the Social Attitudes
Survey of Dog Ownership, has been conducted
three times since 2000.
"People are still reluctant to accept
a responsibility for their dog and still feel
that, as long as the dog is not behaving badly,
they are responsible for its safety,"
Dr Watson added.
It was revealed earlier this week that dog
owners could be fined £20,000 if they fl
to get their dogs vaccinated.
Home Office health boss Jim Shannon sd
in March that the law would be enforced.
The British Veterinary Association has called
for the law to be implemented and a ban on
certn breeds to be imposed.
It sd dog breeds such as Staffordshire
Terriers and bull terriers were among those
that should be banned.
A new study into how children are faring
in the United States has found that the more
pets children have, the more likely they are
to suffer a mental disorder.
The research, carried out by the National
Center for Health Statistics, looked at information
from interviews with more than 14,000 children
between the ages of 4 and 17.
"We found that having a pet was a protective
factor agnst these disorders," sd the
study's lead author, Jennifer Wexler, an analyst
with the National Center for Health Statistics.
The most popular type of pet among children
in the survey was dogs. Nearly 11% of children
sd they had a dog.
Wexler sd that she was unsure if the link
between pets and mental disorders was a cause
or an effect.
Wexler, who is from the United States, told
the BBC: "