MPs will debate whether Staffordshire Bull Terriers should be added to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – after animal rights activists called for them to be banned.
PETA has called for the dogs to be added to the list included in the bill but a petition by Staffie lovers calling on the government to reject it has received more than 160,000 signatures.
According to the UK Government and Parliament petition website, it will be debated today (July 16).
Steven Quinn is behind the petition and he wrote: ‘PETA, an organisation that is meant to be dedicated to protecting animals, has proposed to the UK government that it should add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the dangerous dogs act, effectively banning them outright.
‘Breed Specific Legislation is not the solution to the problem of dog attacks.
‘Many people in the UK today have the pleasure of owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
‘As one of these people I can recommend them as being loving, loyal and caring, far from dangerous they are great companions.
‘It would be a terrible tragedy for the dog lovers of the UK to lose the right to own one of these great companions.
‘We are calling on Parliament to save our staffies and not have them banned as dangerous dogs, because they are not.
‘People create dangerous dogs, people are the problem.’
In the government's official response to the petition from July 5 it said: ‘The Government has no intention of prohibiting the keeping of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.’
The Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991 in response to various incidents of serious injury or death resulting from attacks by aggressive and uncontrolled dogs, particularly on children.
There are currently four breeds included on the list of banned dogs:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
Under the act it is illegal to own any of these dogs, without specific exemption from a court.
The dogs have to be muzzled and kept on a lead in public, they must be registered and insured, neutered, tattooed and receive microchip implants.
It is also illegal to breed, sell or exchange any of these dogs under the Act.