Dog Regulation: How the Brits Do It

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Mar. 16, 2010

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As Jacob Lambert wrote in last week's PW piece, Banishing Acts: It's a Pitty, on the topic of pit bull regulation:

In light of Philadelphia’s recent contribution to this suffering, Mayor Nutter and City Council should consider regulation and study its ramifications.

Lambert detailed a straight-up ban of pit bulls, but the Associated Press sheds some light on this issue by detailing proposals going down in the U.K. regarding doggie regulation. Their situation seems to be a bit different due to their heavily-regulated weapon laws and surveillance, though some may argue our city’s laws (and others) are headed in the same direction.

“In a country where guns are tightly controlled and even carrying a kitchen knife can bring prison time,” writes AP writer Raphael G. Satter, “some thugs use dogs to menace their victims.”

In light of this controversy, Britan's Home Office Secretary Alan Johnson told the AP last week that microchipping all the country’s dogs and forcing owners to take out insurance on their pets would help track the owners of dogs responsible for attacks and compensate the victims of bite-and-runs.

Today, however, the insurance plan (which, according to some estimates, would have cost owners more than $500 per year) was scrapped by the British government. According to Environment Secretary Hilary Benn the government has decided the insurance would penalize "responsible dog owners," something in which they're no longer interested. The insurance mandate would have priced dogs by risk, with breeds such as pit bulls costing much more than, say, a cairn terrier.

The proposed chips, which are still on the table, would cost between $15 and $52.

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1. Anonymous said... on Mar 16, 2010 at 03:06PM

“What's next....a hidden camera inserted into each dog? What did the vast majority of dogs & their responsible owners do to deserve this -- and when did man's best friend become equated with a gun? Thanks, humans, for messing things up.”

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2. Kim said... on Mar 16, 2010 at 03:23PM

“The intro to this article says, "Since last week's column on pit bulls, the U.K. has proposed strong regulations on dangerous dogs--and not a breed ban." However, the articles says the regulations would apply to ALL dogs. We need to be very clear with our terms, as not all dogs are dangerous (in fact, most of them are not!!!). The issue of "dangerous dogs" is an important topic, one that must be addressed in order to create safe communities. But that's not really what's being addressed here, is it? The UK is operating under the ASSUMPTION that all dogs are dangerous, and therefore all dogs must be presumed guilty and treated accordingly. What a mistake and a misguided use of resources. And MOST importantly, the author should note that according to the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), only 71.7 % of Cairn Terriers passed the temperament test, comparied with 88% of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, 85.3% of American Pit Bull Terriers, 83.9% of American Staffordshire Terriers.”

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