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Guard Dogs

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the welfare of dogs used for security of business premises; and what steps his Department is taking to promote the welfare of such dogs. (98759)

Currently, the welfare of dogs used for security of business premises is covered by the Protection of Animals Act 1911. This Act makes it an offence to ill-treat or cause unnecessary suffering to any domestic or captive animal in England and Wales. We are not aware of any specific welfare concerns regarding the use of dogs for security purposes.

The Animal Welfare Bill, which is currently before Parliament, will reduce animal suffering by placing on those who own or are responsible for animals a duty to take steps to ensure their welfare. The Bill will help animal welfare agencies to take action when an animal is being treated contrary to its welfare needs, even if it is not immediately suffering. This means that all domestic or captive animals, including dogs used for security of business premises, must be cared for in accordance with the best animal management practices.