So this is how it goes, really. The government bans guns so thugs take to knives. The government bans knives, so thugs breed attack dogs.
You can’t win. The problem is the thugs, not their current weapon of choice.
But since you can’t really ban dogs, ow there is a new plan. The BBC reports:
“All dog owners in England and Wales would have to insure against their pet attacking someone under Labour proposals to tackle dangerous breeds.”
So, all that happens now is that regular dog owners get punished with having to take out insurance and deal with stricter licensing, and dogs get abandoned in pounds because genuine owners can’t afford to keep them, or don’t want to hassle of adopting them.
The government’s plans to tackle the problem are wrong-headed and will result in damaging the welfare of dogs.
And the thugs?
Well, because they are criminals who thumb their noses at the law to begin with, they won’t bother with all that red tape anyway.
So effect on thugs: none.
Upset and inconvenience to law-abiders: double.
Effect on animal welfare: Potentially catastrophic.
Obviously, there are a small number of dog attacks every year, as there have always been, which are not related to dogs deliberately bred as attack-dogs. Any dog owner would be well advised to take out some liability insurance. But making it the law is taking it a step too far, particularly since – according to the BBC – this plan is a response to “concerns about the use of animals to intimidate or threaten people” and not about day-to-day personal liability issues facing the average citizen.
It seems very much to me as if the majority, once again, will be punished and inconvenienced because the political will to deal with the specific problem head-on is lacking.