My right honourable friend the Secretary of State (Hilary Benn) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Together with my right honourable friend the Home Secretary (Alan Johnson) I am today consulting on whether current legislation relating to dangerous dogs adequately protects the public and encourages responsible dog ownership. The aim is to review current legislation better to protect the public; help enforcers tackle those who abuse the law; and stop the abuse suffered by dogs that end up in the wrong hands. The consultation will run until 1 June, and during the consultation period, I will meet a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss their views. The consultation looks at:
extending dangerous dogs law to cover all places including private property;
giving police and councils more powers to tackle the problem of dangerous dogs by the introduction of dog control notices;
either getting rid of exemption rules that allow some people to keep banned types of dogs or if exemptions are to remain ensuring that the system works more effectively;
what to do about the list of banned breeds;
introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs so that dog owners can be more easily traced; and,
introduction of compulsory third party insurance so that victims of dog attacks are financially recompensed.
Copies of the consultation paper will be placed in the Vote Office and are available at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/dangerous-dogs/.