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November 21, 2011

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Sign up to support reform of the law on dangerous dogs

The campaign to change the law on dangerous dogs has stepped up a gear with the launch of a new petition calling on the Government to bring forward new legislation in the Queen’s Speech.
A group of 20 organisations, including the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), Royal Mail, the RSPCA and the Police Federation, is behind the petition, which would force a House of Commons debate if more than 100,000 people sign up to it on the official petitions website.
The group was moved to launch the petition because of the lack of concrete action following last year’s DEFRA consultation on dangerous dogs, and assurances from Prime Minister David Cameron in April that changes would be made.
The new petition demands that the Government bring forward a Bill in next year’s Queen’s Speech to consolidate and update dog-control legislation, with a greater focus on responsible ownership, increased flexibility for enforcers, and more effective court penalties.
Said the CWU’s Dave Joyce: “Despite the fact that the Royal Mail delivery workforce suffers 5000-6000 dog attacks a year, the majority of irresponsible dog-owners are not prosecuted under the current laws, which are totally inadequate, and the delays in taking action by the Government can’t continue.
“I’m appealing to everyone that works for Royal Mail to log on and sign the electronic petition and help us put pressure on the Government to act.”
Reform of the law would also, the campaign believes, result in savings to the public purse in the form of lower enforcement and NHS treatment costs.
The CWU’s ‘Bite Back’ campaign has been running for four years, during which time both the Scottish and Northern Irish Governments agreed to change the law. The union has also commenced discussions with the Welsh Government, but the major concern, it says, remains the lack of action in Westminster over changing the law in England.

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