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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,"

he sd.

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: "

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