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Proposals to extend the law to protect camelids from dangerous dogs have been rejected
The government’s response to proposals in a report published this month by the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee is a little disappointing. See recent Lawhorse blogs for more details.
The Committee reported that “The high number of dog attacks demonstrates that the current legislation on dangerous dogs has comprehensively failed to protect the public from attacks by out of control dogs, many of which have had horrific consequences.” The report recommended that because so many people are now keeping or farming llamas and alpacas, camelids should be added to the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 list of protected grazing animals alongside sheep, cattle etc. The government declined saying it could see no need because such attacks are rare (are they or are they just rarely reported?). Well now, my two alpacas Luis and Paulo are pretty good at seeing off foxes (and often well-meaning dogs belonging to my visitors) but I wouldn’t fancy their chances against a pack or even a pair of marauding sheep killers!
At least the planned amendment to the Dangerous dogs Act 1991 to treat any attack on an assistance dogs as an aggravated attack is very welcome. It should also in my view be extended to attacks on horses which are being ridden or led at the time. Dangerous dogs are a problem which is not going to go away and horse riders are entitled to the full protection of the law.