Dog licence: A worthwhile idea or simply impractical?
I WRITE in support of Harriet Webzel's comments in last week's Cornish Guardian concerning dog control measures (All dog-owners should have to earn a licence).
Once again, death and injury caused by uncontrolled dogs has become an issue.
Until firm regulations are introduced the problem will not improve, but for a responsible government to threaten to send people to prison for life is closing the kennel door after the event.
It is too extreme and unlikely to be used or even to be effective.
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With guns, knives and other offensive weapons, the authorities initially attempt to prevent the acquirement of the offending articles. The same should apply for dogs.
There are few bad dogs but many bad owners, and it should become very difficult for them to continue abusing dogs.
There is a way to prevent these people getting hold of good dogs to use for fighting, as weapons, or as status symbols.
A reintroduction of a licence fee would provide funds to the RSPCA, or another NGO, to administer a scheme providing for the welfare of dogs and prevention of acquisition of them by abusive owners.
There should be no private breeding of dogs. Only registered breeders should be authorised to sell dogs which would also be microchipped. Breeders would be required to ensure that a licence is purchased and, if sold to a non-registered breeder, the dog would be sterilised at the age of six months.
The scheme administrator would carry out an annual inspection of the dog and, if concerned about the animal's condition, would inspect its environment also.
This would go a long way to identifying negligent or cruel owners and dogs used for fighting.
Wardens would carry out random scanning of dogs to check on their legality.
Very few responsible dog-owners would object to a licence fee provided the income was used to protect dogs from unscrupulous owners.
There are currently an estimated 10.5 million dogs in the UK; this number is increasing and even a modest fee would generate an impressive fund – as long as the Government doesn't get its hands on it.
I WRITE this letter in response to Harriet Webzel. I think her ideas, while good in the thinking, would not be practical.
Miss Webzel suggests that people should have to show competence in owning and managing a dog's behaviour.
I would like to ask who Miss Webzel thinks is going to run these courses: the police, perhaps, or the council?
We know how strapped for cash the council is and there are better ways to use police time.
The second point I would raise is that some people who own the so-called "dangerous dogs" are not likely to get a licence so it will make no difference.
I have had dogs all my life and I have always trained them to my commands; the only reason a dog will attack is that it feels unsafe or it is guarding its space.
Children should also be taught to hold their hand out to allow the dog to sniff it – if the dog doesn't sniff their hand they should not be allowed to move towards the animals.