GMB Want New Dog Law

26 Nov 2011

GMB is backing a new parliamentary petition launched today by leading animal charities, the veterinary profession and other unions whose members are at risk of attack from dangerous dogs. GMB members who work as bins collectors, gas and electricity meters readers, ambulance staff and district nurses, meals on wheels and home help staff, special needs transport, parcel delivery drivers, taxi cab drivers, and others run the risk of being victims of the irresponsibility of dog owners who do not control their animals.

The e-petition is to put pressure on the Government to deliver on its assurances and overhaul dog laws and bring forward new legislation in the Queen’s Speech. The public can sign the petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22631 and share it on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help reach the 100,000 signatures required to achieve the debate in the House of Commons.

GMB wants a new law that focuses on the owner’s actions or omissions rather than the type of dog. Consolidates and updates legislation concerning dog control; gives greater flexibility and discretion to enforcers and the courts; improves public safety and animal welfare; includes a genuine preventative effect; updates some offences; and reduces the costs of enforcement. In particular we believe: the scope of legislation must be extended to cover all places, both public and private and means that all dogs are permanently identified.

The petition demands that the Government brings forward a Bill in the Queen’s Speech next year that consolidates and updates dog control legislation. It is hoped a new Bill would have a greater preventative effect by focussing on owner responsibility, give greater flexibility and discretion to enforcers and the courts, and enhance dog welfare.

John McClean, GMB Health and Safety Officer said, “GMB members are attacked by dogs while they are doing their jobs. Just think how many people come to our homes to deliver goods and services to us. GMB members empty our bins, read our gas and electricity meters, dash to our homes when we need an ambulance or a district nurse, to deliver meals on wheels and help our elderly and vulnerable people, pick them up to go the day centre or the hospital and increasingly to deliver goods we have bought and all run the risk of being victims of the irresponsibility of dog owners who do not control their animals. The government must address this problem and the petition will give them the means to do that. GMB is urging the public and all GMB members to support the people who look after us at home by signing the petition.”