Thursday, 20 February 2014

Stand up for the rights of every Scottish dog not to be muzzled

The Scottish Government has announced a consultation that could lead to every single dog in the country being muzzled all the time in public places.

Don't muzzle me. I'm innocent.

Not only is that cruel, it's totally unnecessary. Most dogs don't attack or bite anyone.

I also firmly believe that most cases of dogs biting or attacking could have been prevented by parents being more vigilant and people knowing how to behave around dogs. I say that as someone who was the victim of a dog attack.

I believe that if a dog kills the owner should be charged with manslaughter.

I believe that if a dog bites someone and its not the person who was bitten's fault they should be muzzled and their owner should be fined.

If a dog violently attacks someone and that person's not at fault, that dog should be put to sleep and the owner should be charged with assault or GBH.

I believe that parents who allow their children to be placed in danger around dogs, such as parents who let their 11-year-old children take two fully-grown Dobermans for a walk or to run up to a dog that is tied up and taunt the animal, should be charged with child neglect when their child is attacked or killed by that dog.

What I don't believe is that EVERY single dog in Scotland should be muzzled, ALL the time, in public places whether they've shown any aggression or not.

In case, anyone isn't sure what a muzzle is (a few people I've spoke to got it mixed up with a harness - here's a pic) -

I believe this is an ill-thought out addition to potential legislation that penalises the wrong party for dog attacks - the dogs. Dogs who are punished with the death penalty when they attack whilst their owners who were negligent rarely get prison time.

Under the legislation - dog owners whose dogs kill won't get the years in prison they deserve.

- adults in charge of children who are attacked or even killed by dogs because of those adults negligence, won't be charged with child neglect.

What causes dog attacks?
1. Owners who don't train their dogs properly.
2.Owners who use their dogs as weapons, often by training them to attack or being cruel to them.
3.Parents or guardians who allow their kids to tease dogs, pull their ears, hit them, often when those dogs are tied up.
4.Parents or guardians who leave children in charge of dogs who are much too powerful for them.
Case in point - In 1989, 11-year-old Kelly Lynch was killed by the two Rottweilers she and her friend were walking. The dogs were owned by Kelly's friend's dad (the father of the same friend who was walking the dogs). The dogs were killed. Their owner and Kelly's dad weren't charged with child neglect. This was a tragedy, but one that could have been prevented by the owner of the dogs and Kelly's father not allowing two little girls to take big, strong dogs for a walk unsupervised.
Read more about this tragic case here

If you disagree with the compulsory muzzling of every dog - yes, including your St Bernard who is more likely to slobber over someone than bite then, or your chihuahua - and you live in Scotland, please go to the Dogs Trust page to take action.

Make your thoughts known. Please don't wait until all dogs' lives are ruined forever

There's also questions about microchipping and dog licenses.

Please don't let it get to the stage where every dog is muzzled, regardless of whether they've exhibited any signs of aggression, because it's the owners of dogs who bite who should be punished not innocent dogs, many of whom like my dog would be terrified if they were muzzled.

About me
I write fiction and am also the author of Caring for Your Dog The Essential Guide, out now in Kindle and paperback.
I own a rescue dog. My previous dog, also a rescue dog, had epilepsy. If he'd been muzzled when he'd had a seizure it would have killed him because he'd have choked on his own vomit. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The shame of the Grand National a sport where particpants die

The Grand National is a UK institution but should it be? There's nothing grand about the Grand National for the horses forced to take part.

“Between 2000 and 2013, 23 horses have died on the Grand National course”
Correct as at April 4th, 2013

The Grand National is cruel and that's why an organisation like Animal Aid likened it to bullfighting and there are calls from animal charities to ban it. See the article on their site about horseracing and the Grand National.

This is what Animal Aid Director Animal Tyler said after the 2011 'event' -
“When horses are killed at the Grand National meeting, their deaths are not accidents but entirely predictable. The public has been conned into believing that the Grand National is a great sporting spectacle when, in reality, it is straightforward animal abuse that is on a par with Spanish bullfighting.
This race should have no future in a civilised country. The BBC deserves special condemnation for all but concealing news of the deaths. In fact, one of its commentary team described the dead horses as they lay on the course as ‘obstacles’ – which was particularly disgusting and callous.”

Unlike the horseracing industry (which has strong links with fox hunting) who continue to defend the event, Animal Aid, don’t have any hidden agenda. They simply care about animal welfare.

If there was a 100m and at the end of it Usain Bolt broke a leg or his neck and had to be shot, would they still hold that event? Of course they wouldn't, but horses are considered expendable.

Here's another piece written by a vet who wants the Grand National banned.

FACT - In April 4th, 2013, the first day on the Grand National course, which has undergone what have been described as major safety improvements, claimed an equine victim, when 11-year-old Battlefront collapsed and died with a suspected heart attack.
He was being ridden by Katie Walsh, who earlier this week triggered controversy when she seemed to trivialise the deaths of horses on racecourses ("These things happen, and they’re horses at the end of the day.’) and claimed that race horses are looked after ‘better than some children."

In response to that I'd like to say I hope this lady doesn't have children.

If you're thinking of betting on the Grand National this weekend, please think of the horses and don't.