In a House of Commons Written Ministerial Statement, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, said that new regulations would be introduced from April 2016 that will require all dogs to be registered with one of the authorised national commercial databases. This programme will be supported by the Dogs Trust, who will provide free microchipping services to all unchipped dogs in England. Other charities such at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and Blue Cross also offer a similar service.
Other plans announced include amending the Dangerous Dogs Act, to help protect children, and those who have to visit private properties, including healthcare and utility workers and postmen. However, this will not protect those who have entered a private property with unlawful intentions. Funding to support charities with education projects in their local community is also to be provided.
Commenting on the plans, David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, said “I am pleased that the Government is taking action to deal with the problems caused by irresponsible dog ownership and improve animal welfare. I have become increasingly concerned about complaints of aggressive dogs and irresponsible ownership. Whilst the majority of people and animals do not cause problems, some attacks have been quite vicious. I have previously raised such problems with Ministers and the Police.”
He added “These proposals will help to protect people attacked on private property and also help councils and charities save money on kennelling and re-homing costs.”